Chief saddened by murder of 20-year-old Ahousaht First Nation member

WatchThe chief of a west coast First Nation says he's saddened by another senseless death in his community.

The chief of a west coast First Nation says he’s saddened by another senseless death in his community.

20-year-old Clifton Johnston, a member of the Ahousaht First Nation, has been identified as the victim of a stabbing that took place over the weekend.

Johnston’s body was found on a sidewalk out front of the Port Alberni Friendship Center, located on Fourth Avenue.

On Monday, family and friends held a vigil by the Port Alberni Friendship Center, where a large memorial has been growing for the man whose life was cut short.

“It’s very sad and very unfortunate, said Ahousaht First Nation Chief Greg Louie. “This should not have happened.”

Johnston was living in Abbotsford and had only come back to Port Alberni just days before he was found dead.

“The young man succumbed to death through stabbings. I have been informed of stabbings in the chest. I don’t know the reasons why,” said Louie.

For members of Johnston’s community, his death comes at a stressful time.

The Ahousaht First Nation’s chief says 43 members, many living away from the community, have died since the COVID-19 pandemic began and restrictions are making it more difficult.

“It’s causing us to no longer visit our families and friends and no longer celebrate and have potlatches, family gatherings, weddings, and birthday parties. All that has caused a lot of mental anguish,” said Louie.

Those who knew Johnston say they hope the person responsible for his death will be arrested and prosecuted.

Police are continuing to investigate but have so far have not charged anyone in Johnston’s death.

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Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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