Jury Finds Four Deaths Still a Mystery- Proposes Major Reform in the Education and Care of First Nation Youth
Today, after hearing more than 7 months of testimony from approximately 150 witnesses, the jury delivered its verdict and 145 recommendations at the Inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations youth who died while attending school in Thunder Bay. The Jury’s verdict that four of the seven deaths were undetermined is significant. Lawyer Julian Falconer told reporters that, “‘Undetermined’ in respect of three of five of the drowning deaths sends a clear message that the police investigations were deeply flawed… Consequently, tragically, there is no way to rule out that these kids were deliberately killed.”
Lawyers Julian Falconer and Meaghan Daniel represented Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a First Nations government, throughout the eight month Inquest.
Key amongst the 145 recommendations were those directed at Canada to build and fund a preschool, elementary school, and high school in every Reserve community in NAN territory, and to create a Federal advocate for First Nations children and youth to monitor government progress towards equity for First Nations children.
In the News
7 Teenage Deaths, but no Answers for Aboriginal Canadians New York Times, July 13, 2016
Coroner’s inquest into deaths of indigenous students provides recommendations but few answers Toronto Star, June 28, 2016
Inquest jury on aboriginal youths’ deaths says 3 died accidentally, 4 undetermined Toronto Star, June 28, 2016
Inquest into aboriginal youth deaths in Thunder Bay: 3 accidents, 4 undetermined The Canadian Press, June 28, 2016
Inquest into Seven Youths Deaths Delivers Jury Recommendations Net News Ledger, June 28, 2016
Jurors: Deaths of three aboriginal youths accidental; four undetermined CTV, June 28, 2016
Inquest dubs 3 First Nation youth deaths accidental, while 4 others remain a mystery CBC, June 28, 2016
Jury of student death inquest issues 145 recommendations TB News Watch, June 28, 2016
Deaths of 3 aboriginal youths accidental 4 undetermined: inquest jurors Toronto Sun, June 28, 2016
Terribly flawed police investigations reason for undetermined death finding Tbnews, June 29, 2016