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Probe launched into potential death at northern Saskatchewan home: RCMP

A file photo of an RCMP badge. File / Global News

Saskatchewan RCMP says an investigation has been launched following a complaint surrounding a death that potentially occurred at the Timber Bay Children’s Home nearly half a century ago.

Few details were released but police said the death is alleged to have happened in 1974.

Read more: First Nations group says all residential schools need to be investigated

“Protecting the privacy … of those involved is a priority. As such, we cannot discuss any aspect of the investigation or provide any additional details at this time,” read an RCMP statement on Wednesday.

This is the only case involving a residential school currently being investigated by the historical case unit in Saskatchewan, according to police. The home near Lac La Ronge, about 340 kilometres north of Saskatoon, was not considered a residential school but it housed Indigenous children who attended the schools.

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An individual had made the complaint to police in October 2020; however, RCMP said its members’ first recorded statement was on July 8 due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

“This is a historical complaint – dating back decades. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for someone to come forward and speak with police after so much time has passed,” Vince Foy, officer in charge of the RCMP major crime unit, said in a statement.

“With the complaint being historical in nature, part of the investigative process will be to meet with multiple individuals in several communities.

“Investigators will listen to those who choose to come forward and will follow up on any information received.”

Read more: Trudeau says he would support a criminal investigation into residential schools  

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RCMP said it’s committed to investigating all complaints it receives and acknowledging the trauma of those involved is a priority.

Anyone with information is asked to call 310-RCMP to get in touch with investigators.

-With a file from The Canadian Press

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.

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