Privacy watchdog investigating 'Treaty Indian' letter sent to Edmonton teen

Alberta’s privacy commissioner will investigate why an Indigenous teenager from Edmonton received a letter addressed to “Treaty Indian” from Alberta Health Services.

Alberta Health Services said mistake was due to a data entry error

The letter from Alberta Health Services was addressed to an Edmonton teen but used the term 'Treaty Indian' instead of the child's name. (Dawn Marchand/Twitter)

Alberta's privacy commissioner will investigate why an Indigenous teenager in Edmonton received a letter addressed to "Treaty Indian" from Alberta Health Services.

The request was sent to Jill Clayton by Alberta Party MLA Greg Clark.

Clayton confirmed this week she will investigate whether AHS breached the Health Information Act and the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.

"I think Albertans deserve to know whether this is a systemic problem or if, as AHS says, is in fact a one-off," Clark said Wednesday.

"When something like this happens, we deserve full transparency over what happened and making sure that the systems are in place to know that it will never happen again." 

The letter was first posted on Twitter in early April by Dawn Marie Marchand, an Indigenous artist.

Marchand is friends with the mother of the 15-year-old girl and said she was very upset when the letter from the finance department of AHS arrived at their home.

Alberta Health Services said the mistake was an "inexcusable" data-entry error that never should have occurred.