Canadian military veteran Earl Burns tried to protect the Saskatchewan community of the James Smith Cree Nation and his family until the end of his life. A nonprofit app is named in his honor. The Barnes Way Chat app allows veterans to instantly communicate with trained support staff. Especially if those living in rural or isolated areas are underserved.
John McBeth, founder and CEO of Tricycle Data Systems, said Burns Way is all about one person helping another. Also simplifying the concept of communication.
Barnes is such a veteran that he decided the app could be named after him when his team found out, he said.
Barnes was among the 11 killed in September 2022 when her ex-son-in-law James went on a house-to-house stabbing spree in the Cree Nation and nearby Weldon village. 17 more people were injured in that incident. Barnes, 66, was stabbed in his home with his wife. As the attacker fled, Barnes followed him on the school bus. But he died on the way.
The children were also at home at the time and he protected them. Earl Burns stood at his own door and saved them with his life.
Burns served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Line Infantry. After leaving the army, he became a father and great-grandfather. He bought his own school bus and used to transport the students to school every day.
Barnes’ family, particularly his wife Joyce Barnes, who survived the attack, gave permission for the app to use his name.
The app will launch in 2024 and will be available in English, French, Spanish and 10 indigenous languages.