Stock photo by Orange Fox from Pixabay

Stock photo by Orange Fox from Pixabay

Care agency launches review into death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society says they are ‘heartbroken’ over loss

The Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society (FVACFSS) has launched an internal review into the circumstances surrounding the death last month of a First Nations youth in care in Abbotsford.

The 17-year-old boy was in the agency’s care at a group home when his body was found Sept. 18 in his bedroom closet four days after staff believed he had gone missing.

Abbotsford Police and the BC Coroners Service deemed the death a suicide and determined there were no grounds for further investigation or an autopsy. But pressure from the family and four Indigenous organizations has now resulted in an autopsy being ordered.

The groups would also like a thorough police investigation into the matter.

RELATED: Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

A statement from the FVACFSS states that the agency is “heartbroken over the loss of this youth.”

“We are saddened and, on behalf of our agency, we send love, prayers and condolences to the family, caregivers and the community,” they said.

The agency stated that in addition to their internal review, they will cooperate fully with all external investigations.

“We trust that findings from an investigative review will give the grieving family and agency staff answers, comfort and understanding,” they said.

The FVACFSS said their needs to be a collective effort to advocate for culturally appropriate, trauma-informed prevention resources and mental health services.

They said they are committed to improving services to better prevent further tragedies like this from occurring.

“This work will involve collaborating with numerous ministries, policing and justice, and our First Nations organizations to make progress in the social determinants of health. Our agency is prepared and accountable to do our part,” the statement indicated.

“Bill C92 is an opportunity to transform programs and services for Indigenous children and families. We are excited about this new law, the opportunities it provides.”

The FVACFSS, based in Chilliwack, was founded by the Stó:lō Nation in 1992. The agency was established with the goal of providing better outcomes for Indigenous families, children and youth in the Fraser Valley, as well as prevention and a focus on enhancing Indigenous culture.



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

First NationsIndigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)
Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice signs with MacEwan University Griffins

Local women’s hockey prospect set to join women’s hockey team later this year

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Abbotsford’s Canwest Aero Inc. is offering two pilot training scholarships to celebrate the company’s opening at the Abbotsford International Airport
Abbotsford aviation company offering two free pilot scholarships

Canwest Aero Inc. giving away pair of scholarships valued at $2,500 each

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Chilliwack ER doc runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A handgun seized by Surrey RCMP. (Photo: Police handout)
Crime Stoppers received 500+ tips about Metro Vancouver guns, gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization ‘urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips’

Most Read