An annual volleyball tournament in Iqaluit this weekend is being dedicated to a woman who died in Kimmirut in April, along with her son and his father.

Aalaa Surusimmituq Michael, 23, was a student at Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit. During a visit home to Kimmirut on the Easter weekend, she was found dead, along with her son Cory, 2, and his father Qapik Josephie.

RCMP classified the investigation as a murder.

"We didn't know what to do," said her father, Matto Michael, in Inuktitut. "It's a huge shock to have that happen. Though we so wish these things didn't happen."

As a way to remember Aalaa Michael, the Iqaluit Open Volleyball Championships dedicated this year's tournament to her memory.


Aalaa Surusimmituq Michael, 23, was found dead in Kimmirut, Nunavut on Easter weekend along with her son, Cory, 2, and his father, Qapik Iyiralik.

Her mother says Michael loved sports.

"She's always loved it, all through childhood," said Nakashoo Michael, in Inuktitut. "She grew up watching me play."

Twelve women's teams and five men's teams from several Nunavut communities are participating.

"She was a friend, a teammate, who was here in Iqaluit, going to Nunavut Arctic College, and she was a big part of our Iqaluit league here," said Taina Kubluitok, co-organizer of the tournament.

Nakashoo and Matto Michael remember their daughter as enthusiastic, bright and outgoing.

"It seemed like she knew everyone she came across," said her father. "She had many friends."

Police are still not saying much about what happened. They say they will be releasing information within the next two weeks.

But Michael's parents believe they know how the tragic incident unfolded.

"It's believed that the baby died first, his mother second, and that the father died last by suicide," her father said.

As he and his wife remember their daughter and play for her this weekend, Matto has a message for people.

"Please talk about your issues, the pain you go through, to someone you trust," he said. "It’s better to let it out."