OTTAWA, Dec. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde issued the following statement today on the recent kidnapping and assault of a six-year-old girl from Paul Band First Nation in Alberta. The most recent reports indicate the young girl is in stable but very serious condition.
National Chief Bellegarde said, "On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, I want to say that we are utterly shocked and saddened by this tragic incident. Our thoughts are first and foremost with this young girl and her family and we are hoping that she can begin her healing journey towards a full recovery. An arrest has been made and the RCMP have stated that local citizens were very helpful in this case. We commend those efforts. We all have a role to play in protecting our children and ending violence against First Nations women and girls. Right now, our immediate thoughts and prayers are for the young girl and her family during this difficult time."
Media reports state that James Clifford Paul, 21, was arrested late Saturday on the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation territory and charged with attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Jenna Young Castro, AFN Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 401, 613-314-8157, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alain Garon, AFN Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857, email@example.com