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Sask. farmer raising money for James Smith Cree Nation funeral costs

Sask. farmer raising money for James Smith Cree Nation funeral costs

John Thomson is donating proceeds from hay bale sales to support the family of Earl Burns

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Earl Burns. Royal Canadian Legion/Facebook photo.

A Saskatchewan farmer is raising money to help support members of a community in mourning.

John Thomson, who farms near Penzance/Holdfast, is selling 120 hay bales at $5 each and will donate the money to help cover funeral costs on the James Smith Cree Nation.

“One of their veterans, Mr. Earl Burns, died protecting his family, I’d like to help them with the funeral costs,” Thomson posted on Twitter on Sept. 5.

“Men & women who stand up to violence, who protect the weak, can do so because of the immense love they have within them for others,” Thomson said in a separate Sept. 5 Twitter post. “Mr. Earl Burns, served his country, community & made the ultimate sacrifice for his family; he will be remembered.”

Burns, a veteran of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infrantry, was one 11 peopled attackers killed on the James Smith Cree Nation. He died while protecting his wife and grandchildren from harm.

The attack also left 18 people injured.

Thomson, a veteran himself, wants Burns to receive the commemoration he deserves.

“To help make sure that Mr. Earl Burns, the fellow who passed away, gets all of the honours and recognition he deserves as a veteran at his funeral,” Thomson said, CTV reported. “Just putting on the uniform representing Canada sort of puts you in a unique fellowship, that regardless of your duration or what you did, you can identify as a veteran, and I think anytime you see a veteran pass away, it's important to recognize their contribution.”

Anyone interested in contacting Thomson about the hay bales can find him on Twitter @JohnThomsonSK.

Support can be provided to the community through other avenues as well.

The tragedy on the James Smith Cree Nation has left many needing mental health support.

Farms.com has compiled a list of mental health services in Saskatchewan.


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