(A tapestry image of Nadine Machiskinic is held up during the AFN annual general assembly in Regina.)
APTN National News
The Saskatchewan RCMP is now reviewing the death of Nadine Machiskinic, a 29-year-old mother of four who plunged 10 stories down a laundry chute at the Delta Hotel in Regina on Jan. 10, 2015.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said he asked the RCMP to take over the case so it could be viewed with a “fresh set of eyes” after discussions with Machiskinic’s family who raised concerns about how the city police handled the investigation.
“I contacted the RCMP and they have taken it over,” said Bray, in an interview Thursday. “I didn’t give them any parameters.”
Bray said it is now up to the RCMP to come to its own conclusions on the case.
RCMP Sgt. Brent Olberg, with the major crimes unit based out of Saskatoon, contacted Delores Stevenson, Machiskinic’s aunt, on Thursday morning.
An RCMP spokesperson referred questions from APTN to the Regina police.
“I am not sure if ‘confident’ is the word that I feel,” said Stevenson. “I am glad they are taking another look at the case and I hope there is more progress and we get more answers…I am hoping we will get better results.”
Many questions still remain about the events in the Delta Hotel that led to the Machiskinic’s death. Machiskinic plunged down the laundry chute from the 10th floor of the hotel.
Bray said Regina police’s major crimes investigators concluded the death was not a homicide. They interviewed the only guest, an American, who was on the 10th floor the night Machiskinic died. Investigators also tracked down and interviewed one of the two men believed to have been caught on hotel cameras entering a hotel elevator with Machiskinic. The individual, however, denied being at the scene.
Saskatchewan’s chief coroner concluded the death was an accident, despite an autopsy report that found the events that lead to death to be “undetermined.” The chief coroner asked for a second opinion from a toxicologist in Alberta who supported the accidental death conclusion.
A coroner’s inquest jury found it could not determine what led to Machiskinic’s death.
Machiskinic was found unconscious on the basement floor of the Delta Hotel’s laundry room at about 4 a.m. She arrived at the hospital with cracked ribs and died two hours later. Police did not attend the scene. The coroner on duty was not given any information around the circumstances of how Machiskinic’s was found. It took 60 hours for the coroner’s office to contact Regina police.
By the time Regina investigators arrived at the hotel, the U.S. citizen who was staying on the 10th floor had checked out.
Machiskinic’s family is suing the Delta Hotel. The case is in mediation. The lock on the door to the room with the laundry chute on the 10th floor was not working the night of Machiskinic’s death.
Stevenson said the Assembly of First Nations’ decision to hold part of its special assembly in Regina at the Delta Hotel was an insult to the family.
Manitoba chiefs began boycotting the hotel on Thursday.
The hotel was selected by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) following a bidding process.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said he had no input in the selection process which was handled by the organization’s administration.
“Absolutely it’s a mistake, why would we choose a hotel where one of our own passed away and they weren’t treated fairly with the justice system,” said Cameron.
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–Clarification: A Regina police spokesperson said RCMP has been asked to review the case