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'Something he would have wanted': Sask. community creates memorial project for mass stabbing victim

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The village of Weldon has been a little bit darker since the community lost Wes Petterson.

“He was a huge part of the community,” said Weldon resident Chelsey Erickson.

Petterson, 78, was one of 11 victims during Myles Sanderson’s deadly attacks on Sept. 4, 2022 in James Smith Cree Nation (JSCN) and Weldon.

Wes Petterson was the last victim of Myles Sanderson during a stabbing spree in rural Saskatchewan in Sept. 2022. (Stacey Hein / CTV News)

“It’s still hard knowing that he’s gone, and how he went. He definitely didn’t deserve it,” Erickson said.

She knew Petterson her whole life, and remembers him as a kind and selfless man.

Erickson is co-director of the “Weldon Playground Project” committee, which plans to build a park in Petterson’s honour.

“He liked to see the kids outside playing, and we know this is something he would have wanted,” she said.

Weldon resident Jeanette Dubois hopes the Wes Petterson Memorial Park will bring new life to the community.

“We need more people to get together and do stuff because that has stopped. The community doesn’t get together anymore like they used to,” she said.

The committee plans to build the park on the field next to the community’s care home, where children currently play.

“We have fun games, but we’re constantly playing them over and over again. I think if we had a playground maybe we’d have more fun, and have different options to explore,” Katie Petire said.

“I’m excited for the park, because then I don’t need to go to Kinistino for a park,” Evander Fearn said.

A rendering of the Wes Petterson Memorial Park plan. (Image Supplied)

The committee needs about $150,000 for the project, but it’s already two-thirds of the way there after a donation from James Smith Cree Nation.

“It’s part of reconciliation … on both parties,” said Gerald Whitehead, a member of JSCN.

“Because both communities felt the tragedy of loss.”

James Smith donated $116,000 to the cause.

“The support we’ve had from everybody, just doing this, has been over the moon and amazing,” said Jamie Petire, committee co-director.

The committee will continue to fundraise through pancake breakfasts and bottle drives, with a goal of holding a grand opening for the park in September.

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