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FN supports COO for inquiry into student deaths

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Compiled by Shari Narine







The Chiefs of Ontario have received support from the Assembly of First Nations to push the provincial government to hold an inquiry into the deaths of seven young people attending high school since 2000 in Thunder Bay. A resolution was passed at the most recent AFN General Assembly. The Chief Coroner of Ontario ordered a joint inquest into the deaths but the inquest was delayed because of the lack of First Nations representation on the Thunder Bay jury roll. “The loss of these seven youth has caused fear and apprehension in (Nishnawbe Aski Nations) and the continued delays to get this inquest underway are unacceptable and very distressing for the families of these youth and their communities,” said NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno. However, in an email to CBC, the Ministry of the Attorney General said, “Public inquiries are not meant to serve as substitutes for, or supplements to, inquests under the Coroners Act. The coroner has already determined that an inquest is appropriate for investigating these tragic deaths.”