Two vulnerable kids released from care in midst of suicide crisis in Wapekeka First Nation
18-year-old attempted suicide after being sent home to remote First Nation with no plan of care
A child welfare agency in northern Ontario sent two high risk youth home to Wapekeka First Nation last week, against the community's wishes. One died by suicide, another attempted it.
Jenera Roundsky, 12, died by suicide on Tuesday night in Wapekeka. She had been on suicide watch in the care of Tikinagan Child and Family Services in the weeks preceding her death. First Nations leaders said they were opposed to her return home in the absence of a safety plan for her.
Now CBC News has learned Tikinagan also sent an 18-year-old boy home to Wapekeka with no plan for his care.
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"We had objected to that," said Wapekeka band manager Joshua Frogg. "It's reprehensible what they did."
Frogg said the boy attempted suicide on the weekend, shortly after his return to the remote community, which has been in crisis since the deaths of two 12-year-old girls in January.
"It's very challenging for us to cope," Frogg said. "We are devastated."
No one from Tikinagan could be reached for comment in time for publication of this story.
Frogg said the boy had been in the child welfare system for "a number of years" but, at 18, had aged out of care.
Wapekeka has a population of about 400 people and is located approximately 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont.