Critical Investigations Launched After Deaths of Two Nunavut care Home Residents, Aged 12 and 19

The town of Chesterfield Inlet, located in Nunavut, Canada, is reeling after the tragic deaths of two residents of the Naja Isabelle group home. Margaret Nakashuk, Nunavut’s minister of family services, announced that the deaths of a 12-year-old and a 19-year-old have triggered multiple investigations, including one by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). As a result of “critical incidents” at the care home, three residents were hospitalized, with two ultimately passing away.

The Nunavut coroner’s office confirmed the deaths, with the 12-year-old passing away in the territory on January 6 and the 19-year-old dying outside of Nunavut on October 17, 2023. A comprehensive investigation is being carried out by an external team hired by the department, as Nakashuk expressed deep sadness over the tragic events. Families connected to the incidents have been notified, and the government of Nunavut is taking steps to move the remaining patients out of the Naja Isabelle Home.

Operated by the Pimakslirvik Corporation, the Naja Isabelle Home cares for children and adults under the age of 40 with specialized medical needs from across Nunavut. CEO Marc Ippiak expressed surprise at the minister’s statement, mentioning that the corporation has not been given the opportunity to review the investigation findings. The majority owner of the Pimakslirvik Corporation is the Chesterfield Inlet Development Corporation.

The RCMP has confirmed its assistance with the investigation at the territorial government’s request, while the Nunavut government has also reached out to the Representative for Children and Youth and hired a legal team to assess the quality of care provided by the group home. Investigators will conduct a thorough examination of the facility’s practices and protocols to ensure the well-being of all clients.

This devastating event has left the community in shock, and the investigation will provide much-needed answers to the families and the public. As the authorities continue their efforts to uncover the details surrounding these tragic incidents, the community of Chesterfield Inlet stands in solidarity with the affected families.