'Significant' progress made in Indigenous teens' deaths investigations but more work to do, says coroner
Dr. Dirk Huyer requested help of York Regional, Nishnawbe Aski Police Services in June
Investigations into how two Indigenous teenagers died in Thunder Bay, Ont., in May are still ongoing, and while Ontario's chief coroner says "significant" progress has been made, he added there's still a lot of work to do.
"It's hard to ever be satisfied when we're investigating deaths because someone's lost their lives, but as far as the approach and the work, I've been very pleased with the way that the [police] services have worked together," Dirk Huyer said, adding that the work so far has been "collaborative" and "cooperative."
That decision followed a call by First Nations leaders in May to have the RCMP take over probes into the deaths of Indigenous people in the Lakehead, something that, as a provincial chief coroner, Huyer said he couldn't do.
Huyer added that a "key component" of the work being done has been contact with the families; investigators have also travelled to Keeash's and Begg's home communities, he said.
"[Police are] regularly updating me and we're talking about the approach that they take and the steps they're taking," Huyer said.
Huyer added that anyone who may have information is being encouraged to contact the investigating police services.
Both Thunder Bay and York Regional police have referred media inquiries to the chief coroner's office.
With files from Jody Porter