NAN Welcomes Jury Recommendations as Inquest into Death of Moses Beaver Concludes

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum welcomes recommendations delivered by the jury in the inquest into the death of Moses Amik Beaver and calls for a process to begin their immediate implementation.

“This inquest has been a long and difficult process for the family, friends, and community of Moses. We recognize their strength, resiliency, and unwavering resolve to uncover the truth behind the loss of their loved one, and we thank them for attending this inquest for the past four weeks,” said Deputy Grand Chief Achneepineskum.

Moses Beaver is remembered as a kind and loving man who had many gifts, and one of the great artists, storytellers, and teachers of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

“He continues to teach us many things,” said Deputy Achneepineskum. “Over the past several weeks this inquest has revealed systems designed with fatal flaws that ignored the realities of the people and communities they should have served. Under-resourced systems left an entire community with only two nurses and no police officer. In the final weeks of Moses’ life he was, though innocent, imprisoned by a justice system that did not care for his life or treat his illness.”

The jury’s verdict handed down today concludes the inquest into the death of the renowned Woodland artist, who died in hospital on February 13, 2017, after being transferred from the Thunder Bay Jail. The jury made several recommendations aimed at improving the health outcomes, specifically mental illness, for members of NAN communities. NAN looks forward to working with community partners to ensure the implementation of these very important recommendations.

“We thank the Coroner and jury members for their work and for each witness who provided honest, thoughtful reflections on the failures of the health, mental health, and corrections systems. We now call on Canada and Ontario to take the evidence and recommendations seriously and work tirelessly and efficiently to implement them in true partnership with First Nations,” said Achneepineskum.

“We urge the governments of Canada and Ontario to review the recommendations and to make it a priority to implement the recommendations so that no First Nations individual is denied the required care when in extreme crisis.”

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790

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