NAN, Family Looking for Answers into Death of Artist Moses Beaver as Inquest Begins
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum joined with family members from Nibinamik First Nation looking for answers into the death of Moses Amik Beaver at an inquest in Thunder Bay this week.
“The passing of Moses Beaver is devastating to his family and loved ones in his community, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. His sudden death while in custody is troubling on many levels, especially as days went by before his death was officially acknowledged by those responsible for his care,” said Deputy Grand Chief Achneepineskum. “Years later we still do not fully understand why he did not receive appropriate care and the circumstances that led to his death. We support his family’s demand for accountability and will do everything possible to support them throughout this difficult process.”
A renowned Woodland artist, Moses Beaver died while in custody in Thunder Bay in February 2017. For days his death was not officially confirmed, which caused tremendous suffering for his family and community. This suffering was further compounded as his sister, Mary Wabasse, died tragically in a motor-vehicle accident on her way to Thunder Bay.
As word of his passing spread, the Thunder Bay Police Service would not confirm that he was in custody, local correctional officials would not comment, the then Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services would only confirm that there was a death, and the regional coroner would not confirm that the inmate who died at that time was Moses Beaver.
The Ontario Coroner’s office has since confirmed that Beaver, 56, died in hospital on February 13, 2017, after being transferred from the Thunder Bay Jail.
The inquest will begin on Monday, April 17, 2023, at 10 a.m. at the Ontario Government Building, 189 Red River Road, main floor auditorium. It is expected to last 20 days and hear from approximately 32 witnesses.
Inquest proceedings can be viewed online at:
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