RCMP investigate suspected homicide of The Grizzlies actor

Body of Emerald MacDonald was found near cabin outside Kugluktuk, Mounties say

Kugluktuk actress Emerald MacDonald is seen here during filming. Photo: The Grizzlies/Twitter


The RCMP is treating the recent death of a Nunavut actor as a homicide.

The body of Emerald MacDonald, one of the stars of the movie The Grizzlies, was discovered outside her northern Arctic hometown of Kugluktuk on May 3.

“On Friday, April 30, 2021, Ms. MacDonald was preparing to go to her family’s cabin, buying supplies at the store. This was the last time she was seen in the hamlet of Kugluktuk. It was during the week that a funeral took place,” RCMP said in a news release.

“MacDonald then traveled to the cabin on Inutkoakakvik Island (Old Man Island) by snowmobile for the weekend. This is where she was last seen alive.”

Police, who initially called the death “suspicious”, said her body was found at a cabin.

A still from the movie about lacross and overcoming suicide. Photo: APTN file

MacDonald played Miranda Atatahak in The Grizzlies, a story of lacrosse players helping local youth rally against suicide. She was also an Inuvialuit drum dancer and throat singer.

Her sister, Stacey Aglok, thanked “everybody for the incredible outpouring of love and support” as tributes poured in online.

“We love reading the many stories of her being shared right now. Baboo was so funny and had such a fierce spirit. We know she touched the lives of so many others outside of our family and our community and we couldn’t be more proud of her,” Aglok said on Facebook.

“She was a fearless, brave young woman who had so much more love, joy and talent to offer. She was taken too soon, but her love and light lives on in our hearts and on our screens.”

RCMP are asking anyone who saw or spoke to MacDonald that weekend to contact the Kugluktuk detachment at 1-867-982-0123.

Anonymous tips can also be sent to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nwtnutips.com.

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for aptnnews.ca. A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.