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'We're going to get through this': Constance Lake First Nation mourning deaths of 2 children

People in Constance Lake First Nation near Hearst, Ont., are searching for answers after two young girls suddenly died within three weeks of each other.

Children, aged 3 and 4, died in hospital following medical distress

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is calling for immediate crisis intervention in Constance Lake First Nation following the sudden deaths of two girls under the age of five. (Bryan Hendry/Supplied)
People in Constance Lake First Nation near Hearst, Ont., are searching for answers after two young girls suddenly died within three weeks of each other.

The children, aged three and four, both went into medical distress and died in hospital. 

"The community is definitely taking this very, very hard," Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day said.

"It's one thing for an adult to die in the community. But when it's a young child, it's certainly something that definitely affects the entire community."

The four-year-old died on September 9. A post-mortem did not confirm the cause of death, according to Ontario Provincial Police, and further medical testing is required.

The three-year-old was pronounced dead on September 30. An autopsy is to take place in Sudbury, Ont.

Constance Lake First Nation Chief Rick Allen told CBC News he is not speaking to media at this time out of respect for the girls' families.

More resources needed to ensure 'wellness and stability'

Provincial Police are investigating the deaths, but are not saying if they are connected at this time.

"Anytime where there's a sudden death investigation, our investigations are done completely," OPP Cst. Stephanie Belec said.

"This will be a thorough investigation."

More information should be released once port-mortems and medical examinations are complete, Belec said.

As Constance Lake waits, Day is calling for more resources to be given to the community so the families and young people affected by the deaths can get the support they need. 

Day said he has not received a formal request for assistance from the First Nation, but said he is willing to help.

"They definitely will need the resources to make sure that ... there's a level of wellness and stability there that the community can say we're going to get through this," Day said.

"You can rest assured that all the chiefs across Ontario are praying for and sending their best wishes to the community."

olivia.stefanovich@cbc.ca

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Olivia Stefanovich

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Olivia Stefanovich is a network reporter for CBC News based in Toronto. She previously worked in Saskatchewan and northern Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCOlivia. Send story ideas to olivia.stefanovich@cbc.ca.