A Call For Answers.

On the evening May 6, 2017, Tammy Keeash and Josiah Begg, two teenagers from First Nation communities, went missing in Thunder Bay.

On May 7th, Tammy Keeash, 17, of North Caribou First Nation – an avid gamer, artist, and guitar player – was found deceased in the Neebing-McIntyre Floodway. She was in the care of Tikinagan Child and Family Services when she died.

Less than two weeks later on May 18, Josiah Begg, 14, of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug was pulled from the McIntyre River. He had travelled 600 kilometres with his father from the fly-in community to Thunder Bay in order to access counselling services not available in the First Nation.

Keeash and Begg are the sixth and seventh First Nations teens to be found dead in a Thunder Bay river since 2000. First Nation leaders are taking action to address the policing crisis around
river deaths in Thunder Bay, calling for an investigation of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board.

It’s incomprehensible to me what I’m hearing, what I’m reading in the media in Thunder Bay, that each time someone is pulled out of the water, and it’s aboriginal young people, the same conclusion always comes out. That it’s no foul play, end of investigation,

First Nations leaders have expressed:

Death investigations are extremely time sensitive. Each day that passes significantly impacts the ability of investigators

The crisis of confidence in policing felt by the Indigenous community will increase if concrete steps are not taken to acknowledge and address these fears

The deaths of Indigenous people in waterways have reach a frequency and number that maintaining the status quo risks increasing the likelihood of another river death

The families and First Nations of NAN and GCT#3 deserve, and support, an independent and professional investigation into these deaths.