Amber Bernard and Justin Brake
A 31-year-old Inuk from Nunavut was found dead Tuesday morning in Ottawa’s east side.
Ottawa Police responded to a call early Tuesday morning and found Kenneth Ammaklak’s body behind a dumpster outside an apartment building shortly after 6 a.m.
They are calling the death suspicious.
Daniel Toolooktook, a homeless Inuk in Ottawa from Baker Lake, Nunavut, told APTN News he was friends with Ammaklak.
He said Ammaklak, who he met on the streets, was from Arctic Bay and had been living in Ottawa for at least 10 years.
Toolooktook said Ammaklak had finally found a place to live just days before his death.
He said he heard through a mutual friend that Ammaklak was stabbed to death by someone Ammaklak knew.
(The area behind the east end apartment in Ottawa where Ammaklak’s body was discovered Tuesday morning. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)
Ottawa Paramedics Services would not confirm if Ammaklak died from stab wounds but did say he “died of traumatic injuries.
“His death was obvious and he was pronounced dead on scene,” said Marc-Antoine Deschamps, a public information officer with Ottawa Paramedic Services.
Gabriel Qitsualik, who was also a friend of Ammaklak’s, told APTN Ammaklak also lived in Hall Beach, Nunavut.
Quitsualik, Toolooktook, and another of Ammaklak’s friend’s, Anita Anoojak, spoke highly of the young man.
Anoojak said she knew Ammaklak for two years.
“He was my best friend. He was outgoing. He liked people. He welcomed people all the time,” she said.
(Gabriel Qitsualik says he was a friend of Kenneth Ammaklak and was shocked to hear of his death. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)
Qitsualik said he met Ammaklak through one of Ammaklak’s family members, also on the Ottawa streets. He describes Ammaklak as “very friendly, very friendly and caring.”
Qitsualik said he was shocked when he found out on Wednesday about his friend’s death.
“I had no words for hours,” he said. “Not even to some of my closest friends.”
Qitsualik said Ammaklak “was so excited, he was just getting a new place. It was better than where he was staying.”
Multiple sources told APTN that Ammaklak moved into his apartment in Ottawa’s Vanier neighbourhood days before his death and that he was receiving support under a disability program that placed him in Ottawa Community Housing.
“He’d give you his smoke, sometimes even his last smoke,” Qitsualik recalled, describing Ammaklak’s generosity.
Ottawa Police say Ammaklak’s death is still considered suspicious and would not comment further since the investigation is ongoing.
They are asking anyone who has information to contact police.
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