The death of a child in Tofino has prompted an investigation by the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit (VIIMCU).
Tofino RCMP were called on December 13th to assist BC Ambulance after it was reported that a child had suffered injuries on the Tyhistanis Reserve, part of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and was in need of medical assistance.
The RCMP say the child succumbed to their injuries on December 16th.
On December 17th, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation posted on their Facebook page that they would be cancelling a planned cultural gathering and postponing all other gatherings and meetings.
“The Tla-o-qui-aht Leadership and Staff offer our thoughts, prayers and condolences to families and friends that have recently lost loved ones,” the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation stated.
“We encourage everyone to remember their teaching and be quiet with our families at this time.”
They added that supports and services are available to people who need them, including a support line through Tsow-tun-le-lum at 1(888)403-3123, which can connect Elders, cultural workers and counsellors to people in need of support.
VIIMCU has assumed conduct of the investigation that was started by Tofino RCMP.
“This is a tragic situation affecting many people in the community, including family, friends, first responders and medical personnel,” said Superintendent Sanjaya Wijayakoon, BC RCMP Major Crimes Section Operations Officer.
“This investigation is in its preliminary stages, and is expected to be a long, thorough and involved process involving many agencies including BC Coroners service.”
The RCMP say that other children from the deceased child’s residence have been temporarily placed in other residences while the investigation takes place.
This is a developing story and Victoria Buzz will post updates as information becomes available.