A five-year-old boy who was in the care of Alberta Children’s Services died after being attacked by dogs on a First Nation north of Slave Lake.
The attack happened the evening of Sunday, March 5 on the Whitefish Lake First Nation #459, which is about 375 kilometres north of Edmonton.
RCMP from High Prairie and Alberta Health Services EMS both responded to a 911 call just after 5:30 p.m.
When emergency crews arrived at the community, they found the boy had died of injuries consistent with a dog attack.
It’s believed three dogs were involved, but it’s not known who owned them.
Residents had already identified and destroyed two dogs believed to be involved in the attack, RCMP said, adding the officers who responded found and killed the third.
All three carcasses were sent off for forensic and medical testing, police said.
The young boy’s body was also brought down to medical examiner’s office in Edmonton. No information on an autopsy was available, as of publishing.
On Wednesday night, the community of Whitefish Lake held a community mass where residents gathered, held hands, prayed and sang.
About 700 people live on-reserve, according to the assistant for the chief and council of Whitefish Lake First Nation #459.
The assistant declined an interview but said it was devastating and heartbreaking for the community to experience such loss.
The boy was in the care of children’s services when he died, sources confirmed.
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Motorcycle accident toronto today reached out to the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, but did not hear back.
However, the OCYA released a summary report on 10 years of investigations that spanned from April 2012 to March 2022 and showed 634 kids died or were seriously injured while involved in the system in some way. More than half (57 per cent) were Indigenous.
The boy is the seventh child involved in the system, in some capacity, to be seriously injured or killed so far this year.
According to the Alberta government, the following children, youth and young adults have recently died or experienced a serious injury:
- March 5 — five-year-old died while receiving services (in care)
- March 3 — 11-year-old died while receiving services (in care)
- Feb. 28 — two-year-old died while receiving services (in care)
- Feb. 14 — two-year-old died while receiving services (not in care)
- Feb. 10 — 19-year-old died while receiving services (not in care)
- Feb. 9 — one-month-old died while receiving services (not in care)
- Feb. 4 — 19-year-old died while receiving services (not in care)
“Any time a child receiving interventional care dies or is seriously injured there is a rigorous investigation into what happened,” said Dan Laville, the director of communications for Alberta Children’s Services.
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RCMP from High Prairie, as well as the Western Alberta District General Investigative Unit and Peace River Forensic Identification Section, are all investigating the boy’s death.
No charges have been laid, RCMP said.
— With files from Melissa Ridgen, Motorcycle accident toronto today
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