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Inquest into Bonneau’s death

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Compiled by Shari Narine







The coroner’s inquest into the death of Lee Bonneau, 6, heard from 32 witnesses over two weeks in April in Regina. On Aug. 21, 2013, Lee was lured away by a 10-year-old boy and struck by a blunt object. He died in hospital the next day. Lee was visiting the Kahkewistahaw First Nation and waiting for his foster mother who was playing bingo at the recreation hall. Social Services had apprehended Lee and put him in foster care two and a half months before. The 10-year-old boy was known to social services and RCMP. Because of his age, he cannot be named, and because he is under 12, he could not be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. In his report, Saskatchewan’s child advocate Bob Pringle concluded, “The lives of these boys intersected in a tragic way and we have much to learn from their experiences.” The role of a coroner’s jury is not to assess blame. Rather, the six jurors — chosen deliberately in this instance to include those who are Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal in keeping with unique provisions in the Coroners Act — are to determine the who, when, where and how of Lee’s death.