Cree doctor to lead NWT investigation into Hugh Papik’s death

Doctor from Manitoba to lead critical incident investigation into Hugh Papik’s death.

Iman Kassam
APTN National News
The government of the Northwest Territories has named a Cree doctor to lead the investigation into the death of Hugh Papik.

Papik, 68, was the Inuvialuit Elder from Aklavik, NT., who according to his niece, was left brain-dead after support workers at his senior’s home mistook his stroke for drunkenness.

Cree physician Marlyn Cook, a member of Grand Rapids First Nation in Man., will lead the investigation which is scheduled to start Sept. 12.

“I am confident in Dr. Cook’s abilities to provide a complete and fair investigation” said territorial Minister of Health, Glen Abernethy in a statement.

Papik died on Aug., 15 at the health centre in Inuvik.

Two days later, after a number of media reports, Abernethy called for an external investigation into the death.

According to the government statement, Cook has practiced in several small First Nation communities across Canada, including Cross Lake, Man., Sioux Lookout, Ont., Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, Ont., and James Bay General Hospital.

The investigation is expected to run until Nov. 30, when Cook will submit a report to the minister.

The investigation will determine whether or not a “critical incident” occurred and will look into factors that contributed to Papik’s death.

Any recommendations will be made public.

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