(Sheridan Hookimaw, 13, was found dead in Attawapiskat. Instagram)
APTN National News
A 13 year-old girl was recently found dead in the northern Ontario First Nation of Attawapiskat and the family is now waiting for the provincial coroner to determine the cause of death.
Sheridan Hookimaw’s body was found by a Nishnawbe-Aski Police (NAPs) officer while on patrol near an area locally known as “the first rapids” on about Oct. 19, according to a family member.
NAPs spokesperson Sgt. Jackie George said the police service was waiting for a report from the coroner.
“We provided the information to the coroner and the coroner hasn’t released a report yet,” said George.
Attawapiskat is one of the country’s poorest communities. The First Nation is situated near the place where the Attawapiskat River flows into James Bay.
The community has made national headlines over the dire state of its housing. Its former chief Theresa Spence captured Canada’s attention when she began a liquids-only fast during the height of the Idle No More movement between the fall of 2012 and the winter of 2013.
Hookimaw’s home was one of several in the community contaminated after Attawapiskat’s sewage system backed up. The home, which was abandoned, was then burned down by youth, according to a family member.
The young girl was living in over-crowded conditions at a nursing home in the community. She also faced bullying at school and some of it may have been committed by an instructor, according to a family member.
The coroner’s report is expected sometime this month.