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Nunavut inmate dies in Ontario prison

Ontario officials say an inquest will be held to determine how a federal prison inmate from Nunavut died in custody earlier this month.

Officials in Ontario say an inquest will be held to determine how a federal prison inmate from Nunavut died in custody earlier this month.

Charlie Nakashook, 51, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Regional Treatment Centre — a psychiatric facility located within Kingston Penitentiary — on July 6, according to the Correctional Service of Canada.

Staff tried to revive Nakashook using CPR but failed, officials say.

Nakashook's relatives in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, told CBC News that he was very ill with cancer. The relatives said officials told them that Nakashook committed suicide.

A spokesperson for the Correctional Service of Canada said she could not comment on Nakashook's health status for privacy reasons.

Dr. Peter Clark, the provincial government's supervising coroner for eastern Ontario, told CBC News that an inquest will be held to confirm the cause of Nakashook's death.

Clark said the inquest will also determine how Nakashook's death occurred in custody. An inquest must be held when someone dies of non-natural causes while in custody.

Nakashook had been at the medium-security facility in Kingston, Ont., since November 2008, after he pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Cambridge Bay. He was sentenced to 4½ years behind bars.

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