THUNDER BAY, May 20, 2004 ( – Zeb Kenequanash, the Chief of North Caribou Lake First Nation has demanded a police investigation into the actions of a hospital in Thunder Bay when a mother in his community, after a miscarriage, received the decomposing body of her child in a cardboard box. “The mother went hysterical after she found out the unborn child came through the mail,” Chief Kenequanash said.

The mother was medevaced to Sioux Lookout hospital but lost her child. When the family requested the remains, the hospital placed the child’s body in a cardboard box, labelled it “diagnostic specimen, room temperature,” and sent it by Purolator to the wrong address. When it arrived in Caribou Lake, it sat in the post office for six days. By the time the mother received the box, the body had decayed. She had no idea what was in the box when she opened it.

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, said in a statement he was “appalled that such an inhumane action can take place in this day and age.” However it is not surprising to pro-life activists. Steve Jalsevac, a long time pro-life reporter said that this kind of treatment of remains of infants is not uncommon. Statistics Canada has shown that the abortion rate among First Nations Canadians is disproportionately high. “I would think the First Nations peoples would be up in arms about this; aboriginal populations the world over are specifically targetted for population reduction by abortion and sterilization. Why should we be surprised when their children are treated callously by a medical system that refuses to even acknowledge the existence of an unborn child?” said Jalsevac.  CBC Coverage:


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