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

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Screenshot from Sebastian Sajda YouTube video)
VIDEO: Surrey mayor unceremoniously cuts off 22 speakers during public hearing

Speakers plead with Doug McCallum not to be disconnected but mayor reminds them to stay on topic

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
PHOTOS: Cloverdale hockey’s 2021 grads finally played a game after disappointing season

‘Hopefully this was the last time our Colts will have to be getting dressed and undressed in the parking lot’

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Elford to join Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society as a director

Fellow Safe Surrey Coalition Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton will be re-appointed to the board

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (File photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly COVID-19 cases drop below 200

BCCDC reports 172 new cases for the week of June 6 to 12

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Ridge Meadows RCMP seized drugs, cash and guns from a house on Lougheed Highway and 221 Street. (Special to The News)
RCMP seize drugs, cash and guns from Maple Ridge house

Items were recovered after search warrant executed on Lougheed Highway home June 11

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

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

Most Read