First Nations man had ‘quite good’ chance of survival if taken to hospital instead of cell, inquest told – CBC

Oct 19, 2022

Coroner’s inquest into deaths of Don Mamakwa, Roland McKay in Thunder Bay, Ont., in 2nd week

WARNING: This story describes distressing details about deaths in custody.

Don Mamakwa of Kasabonika Lake First Nation had a 97 per cent chance of surviving the night if he had been brought to hospital instead of a Thunder Bay, Ont., police cell in August 2014, an emergency-room physician told a coroner’s inquest Tuesday.

Instead, the Oji-Cree man, 44, died alone in custody at the Thunder Bay police headquarters after he was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, his pleas for help and medical attention ignored for hours, according to evidence provided so far during the inquest.

Dr. Alim Pardhan testified Tuesday during the second week of the inquest, which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the 2014 death of Mamakwa and the 2017 death of his uncle, Roland McKay, 50, of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. Each man was found without vital signs while in a police cell.

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