Police chief should have no say in reinvestigations of sudden deaths, Thunder Bay, Ont., families say

A long-awaited report into the reinvestigation of the sudden deaths of nine Indigenous people in Thunder Bay, Ont., is expected sometime this summer, but the families of the deceased and their representatives are already casting doubt on it.

The concerns centre on a lack of transparency about the reinvestigations, and the uncertain role of Thunder Bay's police Chief Sylvie Hauth in the drafting and review of the final report, according to former Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum, who was also the aunt to two people whose deaths are being reinvestigated.

"When we talk about trust, there must be transparency. Our families that are involved in the reinvestigation have not witnessed that," Achneepineskum said at a news conference in the northern Ontario city on Tuesday.

"We keep hoping that there is going to be some answers, that there is going to be some sense of closure provided for the families. At this point in time, we don't see that."

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