Mourners in Fort Albany, Ont., will pay tribute today to two people from the First Nation, both dead following separate interactions with the Timmins Police Service.
- 'State of shock and disbelief' in Fort Albany after two deaths, Grand Chief says
- First Nations Chiefs 'shocked' by Timmins deaths
According to the province's Special Investigations Unit, a 21-year-old man was shot in Timmins near Gillies Lake on Saturday after fleeing police. Indigenous leaders have identified the man as Joey Knapaysweet.
His funeral is being held in Fort Albany today.
Agnes Sutherland, 62, died in hospital on Sunday after being arrested and jailed following a disturbance at a Timmins shelter.
A statement issued jointly by three prominent James Bay chiefs this week said of Sutherland's death, "It is alleged that when police attended at the scene of the local shelter Ms. Sutherland was treated roughly while being taken into police custody."
"She suffered severe complications during her detention and ultimately was taken to hospital where she died Sunday evening."
According to her obituary, a wake and a viewing will be held tonight for the mother of six.
According to the Chiefs' statement, both Knapaysweet and Sutherland left the remote community of Fort Albany, near Ontario's James Bay coast, to seek medical care in Timmins.
Accusations of systemic racism have flown since the deaths. Area politicians, including Timmins mayor Steve Black, are cautioning people to wait for the results of the SIU's investigations before arriving at any conclusions.
By law, police are prohibited from commenting on a case during an SIU investigation.