APTN National News
A 17-year-old First Nations girl found dead in a Thunder Bay waterway Sunday was living in a group home making her the fourth First Nations girl to die in care since late October.
Thunder Bay police identified the female body pulled from the Neebing McIntyre Floodway, that drains into Lake Superior, as Tammy Keeash.
Keeash was living in a group home at the time of her death and failed the return Saturday said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler.
“A staff member from that group home called the police just before midnight on Saturday and they again contacted the police Sunday afternoon,” said Fiddler.
Fiddler said he is not aware of what efforts were made by police to find Keeash when they were notified she didn’t report to the group home for curfew.
“The next thing that happened was when we got the call that a body had been recovered near the McIntyre Floodway. Then we found out later on that it was Tammy,” he said.
Fiddler said Keeash was from North Caribou Lake First Nation about 500 km north of Thunder Bay.
Fiddler said they are working with North Caribou Lake to ensure the family and community has the appropriate supports in place.
Police are asking the public for details on her whereabouts leading to her death. Police said she was last seen in the early evening Saturday in the 300 block of North Edward Street. Her body was found Sunday at 9 p.m.
Keeash’s death comes as First Nations leaders have been calling for an inquest into the deaths of three other First Nations girls that died in group homes.
Courtney Scott, 16, of Fort Albany First Nation, died in an Ottawa group home April 21 after a fire broke out.
Four days earlier on April 17 Amy Owen, 13, of Poplar Hill First Nation is believed to have died by suicide in a different Ottawa group home.
In late October, Kanina Sue Turtle, 15, also of Poplar Hill, is believed to have died by suicide in Sioux Lookout.
Like Turtle and Owen, Keeash was under the care of Tikinagan Child and Family Services based in Sioux Lookout.
Anyone who may have seen Keeash is asked to call the police at 807-684-1200.
Police said any little bit of information could assist in piecing together what led up to her death.
Investigators are awaiting the results of the postmortem scheduled for Wednesday in Thunder Bay.