FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 17, 2023
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) offers condolences to the family of Devin Ashley McKay, a 29-year-old O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation man, who recently passed away.
“First and foremost, I want to extend my condolences to the family and loves ones of Devin Ashley McKay along with Chief Kerwin Chaboyer and the community of O-Chi-Chak-O-Sipi,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I must also stress the need for accountability and transparency when it comes to investigating the final cause of Devin’s death.”
According to published reports, Devin was reported missing on January 4, 2023, after fleeing from police five days earlier in the Rural Municipality of Lakeshore. The reported temperatures that night were in the range of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) of Manitoba reports that RCMP officers conducted patrols in the area, and eventually found Devin’s body on January 5. The report goes on to say that hypothermia is believed to be the cause of death.
“There are a few important and unanswered questions from the initial IIU report,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “Devin had been missing for almost a week. Why didn’t officers look for him sooner? Why didn’t they do everything they could to find him on the night of their initial encounter, especially when it was reported that he fled on foot on a bitterly cold night?”
Devin was a father to five children. He was a brother, uncle, and friend to many in his community. While he faced challenges, he was loved and valued. While we await the final findings of the investigation, SCO will continue to offer support to all who have been impacted by this tragic incident.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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