10-year-old dies in dog attack
By Jeanette Stewart, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
January 31, 2010 11:52 PM
SASKATOON - A 10-year-old boy is dead after family say he was attacked and killed by stray dogs on the Canoe Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan over the weekend.
Family members identified the boy as Keith Iron and said he was on his way to visit a cousin when he was attacked by a pack of four or five dogs.
"He almost made it," said Cynthia Iron Ballantyne, the boy's aunt.
RCMP were called at 1:25 a.m. Saturday and found the boy dead in a yard on the First Nation. While officials had not released the name Sunday, community members confirmed it was 10-year-old Keith.
"He was smart. He was very loving to everyone," said a distraught Iron Ballantyne through tears. The boy was at the top of his class and never missed school, she said.
His brothers and sisters are also mourning the death, especially his younger brother, the person he was closest to.
"Keith was loving and not afraid to tell anyone 'I love you,' " she said. "He had love for everyone, and he was really close to his brother ... they were inseparable."
This is not the first time someone has been hurt by dogs on the reserve, said Iron Ballantyne.
"There's an overpopulation here," she said. "It's the same thing like in Ile-a-la-Crosse."
Last September, six-year-old Shiloh Berscheid was seriously injured after being attacked by stray dogs in Ile-a-la-Crosse.
The family is awaiting the result of a coroner's report and RCMP continue to investigate the death.
A funeral for will be held at Canoe Lake School Thursday afternoon.
Canoe Lake First Nation is located 350 kilometres north of North Battleford, Sask.
Dog attacks, especially on young children, have been a recurring problem for northern communities, and not only in Saskatchewan.
In 2006 five-year-old Lance Ribbonleg died after he was mauled by dogs in North Tall Cree reserve in northern Alberta.
Earlier in the year two young boys died in separate incidents on Manitoba reserves.
A three-year-old boy was killed in a mauling on Sayisi Dene First Nation, and later, Derian Bird, 2, died from a mauling on the Hollow Water First Nation.
With files from the Edmonton Journal
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