The tragedy is all the more unimaginable because it's also a death in the family.
Last weekend's fatal stabbing at the Tsawwassen First Nation has members in shock and grief.
With a total membership of 440, with roughly half residing in Tsawwassen, the TFN is a small community despite the massive expanse of land obtained in a historic treaty a few years ago. It's also a tight-knit community, one in which many of its members have become related through the generations.
Asked how the TFN is coping with the loss, a visibly shaken Chief Bryce Williams told the Optimist the death of a young person makes it all the more tragic.
He said strong support services are available at the TFN as well as through the Delta police.
"We're being there and providing the service we need to, and providing any help we need to for the youth. They're the most important people to take care of right now, and we need to make sure they get the support they need to help the healing process move forward. It's one of our main concerns right now," he said.
Asked if his First Nation will examine how such tragedies could be avoided, Williams said he has given that some thought, but for now is trying to deal with what's happened.
In an official statement released Monday regarding last Friday's tragedy, Williams said the family and community are devastated.
"For all of us at Tsawwasen First Nation, it is a time of pulling together to support each other and be the strong community we are.
Our hearts are with the victims' families and friends, and we are here for them."
Noting the victims are her grandchildren's age, TFN elder Ruth Adams said it's a painful experience for the community.
"This is a young First Nation. There's only about 12 of us elders, all the rest are young, and they all hang out together. This was very traumatic," she said.
It's clear even more needs to be done to connect with all the young people, Adams said, adding things are all the more difficult for those who may have mental health issues.
"It's kind of like they have no place to go. They either end up committing suicide or going to jail," said Adams. "I also wanted to say in some ways we're no different than everywhere else. But here, we're so close that it's a case of everyone knowing what's happening, but there's nothing you can do, which is kind of sad."
Adams said she's glad to see better services and more staffing available at the TFN to deal with such events, and that the community quickly rallied together because it is essentially one large family.
"It doesn't matter who it is, we're all close together. Nobody is alone. We opened up the hall and I said it was better for us to be all sitting together than sitting in our houses. This is how our culture works and we are getting back to our cultural ways," she said.
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