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WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s family minister has ordered a review into the death of a three-year-old boy in a remote fly-in First Nations community nearly three years ago.

Rochelle Squires says the review gives the director of child and family services the authority to fully look at what happened to the child leading up to his death in Little Grand Rapids in 2018.

RCMP were called about an unresponsive child who had been brought to the nursing station and was later pronounced dead.

This week, RCMP charged 21-year-old Alayna Flett and 24-year-old Houston Bushie with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

Mounties say the two were temporary guardians of the boy.

Squires says there are a lot of unanswered questions about what happened.

“It’s absolutely tragic what happened to this child,” Squires said Wednesday.

The review’s findings will not be made public, she added.

Squires also recommitted to fulfilling all the recommendations included in a public inquiry into the death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair. The Indigenous girl had spent time in foster care before she was abused and killed by her mother and stepfather in 2005.

The inquiry’s final report, which was given to the government in 2013, included 62 recommendations.

A report by Manitoba’s children’s advocate released earlier this month found just over half of those recommendations had been completed.

The advocate’s report also looked at the deaths of 19 young children due to maltreatment between 2008 and 2020. It found holes in oversight and a lack of support from child welfare.

Squires said the boy’s death in Little Grand Rapids has caused significant grieving for his family and the entire community.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2021.

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