Dancers at a powwow in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Photo: Cindy Lou Photos

Apology for Native woman denied use of breast pump for three days

The chief of police in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has apologized to a Native mother for the way she was treated in custody.

Lillian Desjarlais, 22, was denied access to a breast pump during a 75-hour stay in a detention facility in February 2016, CBC News reported. She was unable to feed her daughter, who was four months old at the time, and experienced pain and discomfort, in addition to feeling humiliated.

"We definitely did drop the ball on this. I apologized for it," Police Chief Clive Weighill told CBC News. He said the apology was delivered earlier this year.

Desjarlais filed a formal complaint with Saskatchewan's Public Complaints Commission after the incident, CBC News reported at the time.

"It hurt a lot," she said of her experience.

About 10 percent of the population in Saskatoon is Native, according to Statistics Canada. The city is known for police mistreatment of Native citizens.

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Saskatoon police chief apologizes for refusing young mom a breast pump while in custody (CBC 6/2)