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Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., reeling after 2 tragic deaths within a month

Wellness counsellors have been brought to Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., to help the community of 180 people after two tragic deaths within a month.

Counsellors brought in after unrelated deaths of Gary McDonald and Robyn Lennie

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  • Wayne McDonald was found not guilty of manslaughter on May 27, 2019.

Wellness counsellors have been brought to Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., to help residents of the community after two tragic deaths within a month.

Gary George McDonald was found unresponsive by police officers at a home in the community on Monday. They performed CPR but McDonald was later pronounced dead.

Police have charged Wayne McDonald with manslaughter in connection with the death. Police say the two knew each other.

On March 11, Robyn Lennie of Tsiigehtchic, a mother of three, died in a crash on the Dempster Highway 10 kilometres north of the ferry crossing.

Marjorie Dobson, the senior administrative officer for the community of about 180, said the two incidents within a short period are taking their toll.

"It's a very small community and everybody is sort of related. And those who are not related, it has had their impacts on them, too," she said.

The local health authority has brought in counsellors, who were available yesterday and today to speak with residents at the school gymnasium and at the community wellness centre. Tonight, there will be a potluck gathering at the school.

Wayne McDonald is scheduled to appear at the Yellowknife courthouse today in relation to his charge. 

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