Indigenous Children Are Dying in Canada’s Foster Care System

"I just want to know what happened."

by Rhiannon Johnson
May 4 2017, 6:50pm

The deaths of three First Nations children living in foster care in Ontario is shining a spotlight on the alarming over-representation of Indigenous children under government custody.

The teenage girls, Kanina Sue Turtle and Amy Owen from Poplar Hill First Nation, and Courtney Scott from Fort Albany First Nation, had been living in group homes, in one case thousands of kilometers away from their homes, when they died.

"Sometimes I think she's still alive," said Barbara Suggashi, whose daughter Kanina Sue Turtle died in October, in a Sioux Lookout foster home where she was staying.

When she lived at home in Poplar Hill First Nation, a community of 500 in Northern Ontario, the 15-year-old enjoyed baking and going out with her friends. But she had been back and forth between her community and various group homes for seven years.

Six months after her death, Kanina's family is still waiting for the official autopsy results.

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