Critical Incidents at Naja Isabelle Group Home in Nunavut Prompt RCMP and Pre-emptive Investigations

CHESTERFIELD INLET, Nunavut – The Naja Isabelle group home in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut is currently the subject of multiple investigations, including one by the RCMP, following the deaths of two young residents. The Minister of family services, Margaret Nakashuk, confirmed in a news release on Friday that three people were hospitalized due to “critical incidents” at the care home, and sadly two of them passed away.

The Nunavut coroner’s office stated that a 12-year-old died in January within Nunavut, while a 19-year-old died in October 2023 outside the territory. The office also announced that it is investigating both deaths and reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death that occurred outside of Nunavut jurisdiction.

The Naja Isabelle Home, operated by the Pimakslirvik Corporation, cares for children and adults under the age of 40 with specialized medical needs from across Nunavut. Marc Ippiak, the CEO of Pimakslirvik Corporation, expressed surprise at the minister’s statement regarding the home, stating that the corporation had not been given the opportunity to review the investigation findings to determine the validity of the statement.

In response to the incidents, the RCMP is assisting with the investigation at the request of the territorial government. Nakashuk explained that the government contacted the Representative for Children and Youth and hired an outside legal team to investigate the quality of care provided at the facility, promising a thorough examination of the home’s practices and protocols.

Additionally, Jane Bates, the Nunavut Representative for Children and Youth, revealed that the department had informed her of the incidents in December, roughly two months after the 19-year-old resident’s death in October. While saddened by the circumstances in the group home, she noted an improvement in incident reporting, attributing it to the guidance of the department’s new leadership.

These developments are serious and raise concerns about the care provided at the Naja Isabelle group home. Investigators are now conducting a comprehensive examination to ensure the well-being of all residents in the facility and to determine if there have been any breaches of the law.