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Savannah Hall lived to be only three years old.
She was born in Prince George, B.C., on Sept. 9, 1997. Corinna Hall describes her first-born daughter lovingly as a girl who loved to play.
“She loved to build blocks, she loved hide and seek,” Corinna said.
Savannah was still a baby when she was taken away from her mother in 1998 and put in foster care.
Corinna continued to see her daughter. She remembers happy times in her daughter’s short life -- memories of chasing each other, playing, laughing.
She also remembers the bad things; the warning signs that something was wrong. The complaints and details that would become public record during a coroner’s inquest into Savannah’s death in 2001.
It was January 2001 when Savannah was found unresponsive in her foster care home in Prince George and rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. She was in a coma with massive brain swelling, hypothermia and bruises when she arrived.
At first, Corinna said she was told by the Ministry of Children and Family Development that Savannah had the flu. But then she went to the hospital.
“I walk in and she had tubes everywhere. She was cold. She had bruises,” Corinna recalled. “That wasn't no flu. They lied to me. It was really hard.”
Three-year-old Savannah was on life support. Her mom stayed nearby,
“I [held] her in my arms and sang You're My Sunshine,” Corinna said.
Two days after arriving in hospital, Savannah died.
Corinna’s home community is Hagwilget, but she has spent most of her life in Prince George. The northern city is also where the coroner’s inquest into Savannah’s death was held.
The inquest was not meant to assign blame, yet the evidence was concerning. The jurors heard Corinna testify about how she had made complaints about the foster home months before Savannah died.
“She was getting bruises. And I've been complaining and trying to get her removed from that home, and they wouldn't listen to me,” Corinna said.
The jurors also heard from a ministry worker who described Savannah being held in her crib by leather restraints -- restraints that were allowed to be used while the toddler slept, even though they didn’t meet ministry standards. The same worker also described the foster home as having a higher than usual number of foster children, partly because of a surplus of some sort.
In the end, the inquest concluded that Savannah’s death was a homicide. At the time, RCMP said they were still investigating, but also said there was not enough evidence to suggest the child was intentionally killed.
It’s been 14 years since Savannah died. No charges have been laid. Corinna says she’s not in touch with police.
“Everybody’s ignoring my daughter’s death,” she said.
“I love my daughter and it hurts knowing that [police are] not doing nothing to help me to get justice for my daughter’s death.”
It’s that longing for justice that has Corinna supporting an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.
“Because I want someone [held accountable] for what they did to my daughter," she said.
"I want someone charged for what they did, and I don't want no parents or child to go through what mine did. Because it is really hard.”
CBC News continues to investigate missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada, looking at the unsolved cases and telling the stories of the families and communities.