NAN and Matawa Express Condolences in Death of Josiah Begg

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Matawa

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council is expressing heartfelt condolences following the recovering of a body believed to be fourteen-year-old Josiah Begg in Thunder Bay last night:

“For more than a week we have hoped and prayed that Josiah’s  disappearance would not end in tragedy. We have every reason to believe that our worst fears have come true, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the entire Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug community. We greatly appreciate the efforts of   the Thunder Bay Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service, all organizations and everyone who participated in, and supported, the search for Josiah. Nothing can reduce the grief for his family and community, but we are eager to learn the circumstances around his tragic passing in the hope  that similar tragedies can be prevented.”

Matawa First Nation Chiefs, Board of Directors and staff today offered their deepest condolences to the Begg family and community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug following the unofficial identification of the body of fourteen-year-old Josiah Begg found in the McIntyre River yesterday.

Matawa leadership also are taking the opportunity express the same deep condolences to the family of the late Tamara Keeash and community of North Caribou Lake First Nation as they struggle with their tragic loss.

The Matawa Chiefs are urging students from the Matawa Learning Centre (MLC) to exercise caution in the city of Thunder Bay. MLC is a private First Nation high school run by Matawa serving the students of five (5) remote Matawa communities of Neskantaga, Webequie, Marten Falls, Nibinamik and Eabametoong First Nations. It has been in operation since 2010.

David Paul Achneepineskum, Matawa CEO states, Our prayers are with the family of Josiah Begg, we hope that you will find peace and strength as you face your lives without your love one. We also want to take the opportunity to give our prayers to the family of Tammy Keeash. As First Nations Peoples, we share your sorrows and we will be there for you as you go through your healing. On behalf of our Chiefs and our Peoples—our sincere condolences and prayers to all of you. We will stand by you as we work together to find answers to the cause of your loss.”

City of Thunder Bay Expresses Condolences

“On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Thunder Bay, we would like to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the two youth who tragically lost their lives recently in our city.

“Know that the thoughts and prayers of Thunder Bay are with you during this most difficult of times.

These tragedies, and others like them, drive home the point that we must come together as a community to find solutions to keep youth, and everyone in Thunder Bay, safe,” says Mayor Keith Hobbs.

Josiah Begg was last seen on Saturday May 6, 2017 while in Thunder Bay with his father for a medical appointment.

What is believed to be his body was discovered on May 18, 2017 in the McIntyre River between Simpson Street and Island Drive.

UPDATE

Thunder Bay Police have not released any official confirmation that the body found by OPP in the McIntyre River is that of Josiah Begg. In a media release police say, “The Thunder Bay Police continue to assist the Regional Coroner’s office in investigating the recovery of the body of the deceased male that was located in the McIntyre River last evening.

“The Coroner and the Forensic Pathologist need to take further steps to officially confirm the identity of this male. His body has been sent to Toronto for the post mortem examination. It will be conducted later this weekend.

“This is an ongoing investigation. The Thunder Bay Police Service appreciates the support and patience of the community in this very stressful time in order to ensure the proper steps are taken in this investigation.”