Ontario coroner calls inquest into suicide of Indigenous teen near group home

A provincial coroner has announced an inquiry into the death of an Indigenous teen who killed himself near his southern Ontario group home and went undiscovered for seven months.

Devon Freeman’s family and community had been calling for the inquest since December, saying it’s the only way to shed light on the many systemic issues that played a role in his death.

The 16-year-old was reported missing in October 2017 from a group home in Flamborough, Ont., where he was living as a Crown ward.

His body was found in a wooded area about 35 metres from the home in April 2018, prompting the family to raise many questions about what happened before and after he went missing.

A lawyer representing the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, where Devon was born, says the inquest will hopefully prevent similar tragedies from happening to other Indigenous youth.

Ontario’s west region supervising coroner has not yet announced details of the inquest, including when it will begin.

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