The Hamilton regional coroner’s office has initiated an inquest into the suicide of a 16-year-old boy whose body was found nearly seven months later just steps from the back door of his group home.

Devon Freeman is from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation on Lake Simcoe. At the time of his death, he was in the care of the  Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton and was a resident of a group home in Flamborough, Ontario, near Hamilton. In December, family and community made a formal request to the Hamilton regional coroner’s office for an inquest into the teenager’s suicide. Lawyers for the family and the First Nation argued that an inquest would shed light on any oversights and failures that might have led to Mr. Freeman’s death and help prevent similar tragedies.

The teenager’s suicide has sparked discussions about child welfare and indigenous youth. Congratulations to OACPL member Sarah Clarke, lawyer for the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation on Lake Simcoe for her work in securing the inquest.