A 21-month-old girl from the Peguis First Nation, whose death is being treated as a homicide, had been involved with Manitoba's child welfare system at some point in her short life, the province has confirmed.
The toddler, Kierra Elektra Star Williams, was brought to a hospital in Hodgson, Man., in medical distress at around 3 p.m. on July 17. She died of her injuries that evening.
The RCMP are investigating her death as a homicide. No arrests have been announced to date.
Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross told CBC News on Thursday that Kierra had some involvement with the province's Child and Family Services (CFS) system, but she did not disclose specific details because she does not want to interfere with the RCMP investigation.
"As a mother, my heart breaks for the child, and I know as the Province of Manitoba as a community, we find it to be an extreme and severe tragedy," Irvin-Ross said in an interview.
There will likely be a comprehensive, multi-agency review of the child's case, she added.
"When a child dies that has had involvement, it is right from birth. What involvement was with Child and Family Services? What services were provided?" she said.
"Yes, there will be case reviews that will happen as well as interviews with community members, family members as well as the workers that were a part of this file."
The province will launch an internal review, while the chief medical examiner and the Office of the Children's Advocate will conduct their own investigations, Irvin-Ross said.
The minister added that she has asked the children's advocate to make Kierra's case a priority.