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Love and death in child welfare: Kanina Sue Turtle’s last days

Love and death in child welfare: Kanina Sue Turtle’s last days

Jolynn Winter, left, with Kanina Sue Turtle days earlier than Kanina’s death in October 2016. Jolynn would additionally die by suicide about two months later. Fb photograph.

Kenneth Jackson
APTN Information
Simply over a yr after Kanina Sue Turtle died by suicide in a Sioux Lookout foster house, the regional coroner stated in his last report on her death that it didn’t seem something might have stopped it from occurring.

“In this case, the final stress does appear to have been an interpersonal conflict. It is not clear what interventions would have made a difference,” wrote Dr. Michael Wilson Nov. 27, 2017.

Wilson wrote this about 21 days after he requested that Kanina’s disaster intervention counsellor in Sioux Lookout ship him all of her data.

APTN Information has these data and they make up a big a part of this story, one which APTN has been investigating since February.

Kanina died on Oct. 29, 2016 inside a foster house owned and operated by Tikinagan Child and Household Providers.

The data present missed appointments with Kanina’s counsellor earlier than she died and how the counsellor struggled to speak to individuals at Tikinagan to seek out out why.

APTN has already reported that Kanina was “chronically suicidal”, had a whole lot of latest self-inflicted cuts throughout her physique, made a number of hospital visits earlier than her death and had the bruised define of a noose round her neck that was clearly seen in a Fb reside video posted on her account.

She additionally filmed her death on her iPod.

That video confirmed Kanina was left alone for 45 minutes earlier than anybody got here to verify on her. She had already been immobile for 40 minutes.

However the data from Kanina’s counsellor on the Nodin Child and Household Intervention Providers, element parts of the child’s last days alive which have gone unreported till now – very similar to the coroner’s report into her death that household simply acquired in August regardless of a number of conferences with the coroner’s workplace.

And nonetheless, in any case this time, her mother and father, Barbara and Clarence Suggashie, don’t know why she was left alone the day she died.

They didn’t get solutions from a report launched this week into Kanina’s death and 11 different youngsters that perished in child welfare. That report, organized the by Ontario’s chief coroner, Dirk Huyer, discovered nobody individual was responsible for any of the deaths however the system as an entire had failed every and each one of many youngsters. Eight of them have been Indigenous.

As APTN reported Thursday, Kanina’s mother and father are suing Tikinagan for $5.9 million alleging her death was preventable. Additionally they hope it’s going to lastly give them the solutions they’ve been in search of.

‘They don’t give a variety of details about the place she stays’

Violet Tuesday was Kanina’s counsellor however had problem reaching her in the days earlier than she died.

Tuesday’s case notes present missed appointments and unreturned calls by Tikinagan when she tried to seek out out why.

Info pulled from the data for this story are revealed precisely how they have been written by Violet Tuesday, together with the misspelling of Kanina’s identify.

“I called Intake of Tik to let her know that Kenina never called or her escort (house sitter) they were to call me today for her apt.,” wrote Tuesday Oct. 24, 2017, 5 days earlier than Kanina died. “The Consumption was going to seek out out the place she is/additionally her employee is Ashley.

Nobody from Tikinagan referred to as again.

The subsequent day Kanina was a no present, once more.

“Intake never called today or the sitter of the place where Kenina stays. They don’t give a lot of information about the place she stays. Waiting for them to call,” wrote Tuesday Oct. 25, 2017, 4 days earlier than Kanina died.

The subsequent day Tuesday spoke to a Tikinagan employee on the hospital however didn’t acknowledge the woman sitting with the employee.

It was Kanina.

Kanina together with her mom Barbara in April 2016 throughout a go to residence. Fb photograph.

“I saw her sitting in the waiting room with a girl (Tik worker) but I didn’t know it was her because she had her long hair down with red streaks,” wrote Tuesday Oct. 26, 2017, three days earlier than Kanina died.

“I saw her briefly. She has been cutting again. I asked her if shew as suicidal/stated no. I told her I was sorry for not recognizing her. The last time I saw her she really want to go home/her father wanted her to come home. I think she was frustrated/lonely.”

They made an appointment for the next day.

Once more, Kanina didn’t present up.

Tuesday referred to as Tikinagan twice earlier than Kanina’s employee referred to as her again.

“I called Tik Intake to ask about Kenina. I was told to call Ashley. I told her she doesn’t pick up her phone. Intake called Ashley. Ashley did call back,” Tuesday wrote Oct. 27, 2017, two days earlier than Kanina died.

Ashley defined that Kanina was not doing nicely and that she had taken off with a pal.

The good friend was Jolynn Winter, Kanina’s girlfriend.

“Her friend was only 12 years old/suicidal together,” wrote Tuesday. “They got caught kissing each other. She stated she told Kenina she could get charged doing this to 12 year old.”

In a video posted on Kanina’s Fb each of the women are guffawing that day behind a constructing and kiss a pair occasions. APTN has reviewed that video and at one level a bruised define of a noose is clearly seen throughout Kanina’s neck.

Tuesday requested why Kanina didn’t present up for her appointment.

“She is very angry/upset at everyone. She doesn’t want to come Nodin,” wrote Tuesday. “Ashley stated they are going to send her into treatment.”

Tuesday stated to deliver Kanina for a counselling session the subsequent day at 10 a.m.

At 1:15 p.m. Tuesday referred to as Tikinagan to see the place Kanina was.

Tikinagan informed Tuesday they have been taking Kanina to Dryden, about an hour from Sioux Lookout.

“I asked her how she was doing now. She described Kenina as calmed down/talking now. She was going to bring her in for a few mins to see me but I told her to bring her Monday at 10 am for counseling,” wrote Tuesday on Oct. 28, 2017, someday earlier than Kanina died.

That very same day Kanina tried to kill herself in a wooded space.

She seems panicked and seems over her shoulder as if she thinks somebody is on the lookout for her.

“I don’t know what to do anymore,” Turtle says in the brief video. “I’m sorry for what … umm… I’m going to do.”

Kanina was discovered lifeless the subsequent day.

After her death, Nodin’s information have been reviewed.

“The assigned counselor had considerable difficulty contacting the client as indicated on 4 case notes. One of those notes explains how the (Tikinagan) home staff took her to Dryden rather than come in for her session,” the assessment states.

Love and Death

APTN reported earlier this yr that Kanina and Jolynn Winter have been shut however ignored particulars of their relationship.

That they had met whereas in a Tikinagan remedy centre in Cat Lake a number of weeks earlier than Kanina died.

APTN reported that Tikinagan suspected each have been suicidal and had separated them in the days earlier than Kanina’s death. That included turning off the Wifi on the residence Kanina was being stored at.

This infuriated her. The day she died she ran away from the house and the Ontario Provincial Police apprehended Kanina and returned her to the house in accordance the coroner’s data.

Jolynn was hospitalized after Kanina’s death for over two weeks. Her grandmother advised APTN she had tried to kill herself.

In January 2017, Jolynn did die by suicide.

Kanina Turtle, in the small display, with Jolynn on Facetime a pair days earlier than Turtle’s death.

Each of their deaths have been a part of a so-called professional panel evaluation of 12 deaths of youngsters in child protecting providers.

However the panel didn’t dig into particular person instances trying to maintain any individual or company accountable, fairly it reviewed information in search of systemic issues.

General, it discovered the child welfare system was failing youngsters.

The panel highlighted the connection between Jolynn and Kanina.

“In the weeks and days prior to (Kanina’s) death, the two were together on a number of occasions. Although this relationship is referred to in various documents, there was no evidence of supportive discussions around Kanina’s sexual identity,” the panel wrote. “Moreover, it seems that employees indicated to her that she might be arrested for partaking in a sexual relationship with Jolynn, because of Jolynn’s age.

“While this is accurate from a legal perspective, this position does not demonstrate responsiveness or recognition of the needs Kanina was endeavouring to meet.”

When Jolynn was hospitalized after Kanina’s death she spoke to employees about their relationship.

“There were no records suggesting that Jolynn’s sexual identity was ever discussed with her while in hospital or by staff of other organizations including (Tikinagan),” the panel wrote.

There have been no psychological well being remedy beds obtainable when the hospital discharged Jolynn. So, Tikinagan despatched her house to her father on an “extended visit” in Wapekaka First Nation. Her grandmother beforehand informed APTN it was the primary time she had ever been residence.

“A safety plan was agreed to by the hospital, (Tikinagan,, the family and Jolynn. There was, however, no evidence of active therapeutic intervention during the seven weeks she was in her father’s home,” the panel wrote.

“At the age of 12, Jolynn died by suicide in her father’s home. Kanina’s death by suicide is felt to have been an influencing factor in Jolynn’s suicide.”

The panel stated Kanina left a observe for Jolynn and her numerous members of her household however Kanina’s mom stated they’ve by no means seen any letters.

Suicide Pact

After the deaths of Kanina and Jolynn one other individual near them was struggling.

Her identify was Amy Owen, who was additionally from Poplar Hill however dwelling in teams houses in the Ottawa space.

She was transferred to Prescott, Ont. just some days earlier than Kanina died.

The proprietor of the house advised APTN Tikinagan stated she was in a suicide pact. The panel additionally discovered that Amy was in a suicide pact with two different youths however didn’t identify them.

APTN beforehand related Amy’s death to Jolynn and Kanina.

Amy Owen’s death was mourned by many individuals who knew her. A few of them made this collage of her.

Amy was transferred to an Ottawa group residence after an altercation with employees on the Prescott residence. The proprietor additionally thought she can be safer in Ottawa as Amy stored making an attempt to run to close by railway tracks.

It was throughout that switch that she discovered of Jolynn’s death.

After repeated visits to the Youngsters’s Hospital of Japanese Ontario Amy died by suicide in the Ottawa group house.

She was purported to be positioned underneath 24-hour supervision however, in line with the coroner’s report into her death, a specialised house for that sort of care was at capability.

All three women have been underneath the care of Tikinagan and every one was suspected of being suicidal earlier than they died.

Within the Suggashie lawsuit towards Tikinagan, it alleges that the Indigenous child welfare company is incapable of caring for Indigenous youngsters.

“(Tikinagan) failed to adequately monitor Kanina,” the declare alleges. “Its employees or agents had no or improper training, qualifications, education and experience to supervise and/or assist Indigenous children suffering from mental health issues, including Kanina.”

Tikinagan has not responded to requests from APTN to deal with the lawsuit.

APTN requested Ontario’s chief coroner if he agreed with the conclusion reached by his regional coroner that it didn’t seem something might have prevented Kanina’s death.

“The Expert Panel has provided their perspective about the system of care available to the 12 youth who were subject to their review.  They have identified many concerns about the system and provided a number of recommendations to inform change,” wrote Huyer in an e mail.

APTN additionally requested if his workplace ought to have been subjected to the panel evaluation.

“We do not provide care to youth–unfortunately we are only involved after a death has occurred,” he stated.


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