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

abbotsfordFirst NationsIndigenous

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

Just Posted

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey Police Service looking to hire in-house lawyer

Solicitor to work within Office of the Chief Constable, serve on internal and external committees to ‘represent the SPS’s interests’

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Tyler Tardi will serve as a fifth on Team Laycock at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tyler Tardi to serve as alternate for B.C. team at Brier

Langley/Cloverdale curler to serve as ‘fifth’ on Team Laycock at Calgary-hosted championships

Surrey RCMP say that after checking on a “semi-conscious” driver in Whalley on Jan. 20, 2021, officers found about 21 grams of suspected cocaine, 68 grams of suspected fentanyl, about $1,400 in case, a stolen shotgun and ammunition. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP say ‘semi-conscious’ driver found with drugs, gun

Officer saw ‘open alcohol and suspected drugs’ inside the vehicle, police say

Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank is located at 2356 156 St. (File photo)
Door-to-door canvassers not working on behalf of Sources Food Bank, says manager

Accredited White Rock, South Surrey, Langley food bank does not canvas for donations

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

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

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Competitors make their way through the course at the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, which was hosted by Abbotsford in 2019. (File photo)
Abbotsford to host 2023 Canadian Cross Country Championships

Clearbrook Park last hosted the event in 2019, Ottawa hosting 2021 and 2022 races

Officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Most Read