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Inquest into the death of Kinew James scheduled for May

A report into the death of Kinew James at Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre says five alarm calls were made from her cell the night she died.
A long-awaited inquest into the death of Kinew James while an inmate at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon will take place in May. File / Global News

The long-awaited inquest into the death of Kinew James is set to take place in Saskatoon starting on May 8.

James, 35, died in January 2013 while she was an inmate at the Regional Psychiatric Centre.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Fry Society granted standing at Kinew James inquest

She was found unresponsive in her cell and rushed to Royal University Hospital where she was pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack.

James was nearing the end of an aggregate sentence of 15 years for manslaughter, assault, uttering threats and other charges at the time of her death.

According to a board of investigation report, James, who was diabetic, activated the emergency call alarm in her cell and told corrections staff that she was feeling sick and lethargic the night she died.

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READ MORE: 5 alarm calls made from Kinew James cell the night she died: report

Inmates have alleged that James was denied timely medical assistance.

The report said it took a nurse between 12 and 15 minutes to declare a medical emergency and that the nurse should have taken immediate action when James was found unresponsive.

The inquest was originally scheduled to take place in April 2016, but was adjourned after arguments were raised over the scope of the inquiry.

READ MORE: Scope of inquiry delays inquest into death of Kinew James

The Elizabeth Fry Society, which has been granted standing at the inquest, wants to explore whether James experienced any systemic discrimination as an indigenous woman with mental health issues.

The inquest, taking place from May 8-12 and May 15-19 at Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon, will establish the circumstances of James’ death and the jury could make recommendations to prevent other deaths.

With files from Global News’ Meaghan Craig and Joel Senick, and The Canadian Press