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Family of woman found dead in 1967 expecting RCMP apology for poor investigation

Tootsie Jimmy-Charlie’s death ruled a “misadventure” by coroner. Family believes it was murder.
RCMP vehicle seen in Whitehorse on April 19. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

The family of a First Nations woman found dead in a Whitehorse-area garbage dump in the 1960s will receive an apology from the RCMP.

An Aug. 3 statement from the family of Tootsie Jimmy-Charlie, who was 26-years-old at the time of her death in the spring of 1967, says the conduct of the RCMP and the coroner at the time hampered closure for the family and the community at large and put other Indigenous women at risk over the following decades.

“Canada’s genocidal laws directly contributed to the murder of Tootsie and the subpar investigation that followed,” the Aug. 3 statement reads.

Jimmy-Charlie’s death was ruled a “misadventure” in the coroner’s report, completed months after her body was found amid deadfall trees near the garbage dump in Porter Creek. The coroner’s report seemed to conclude her death was accidental based on her blood alcohol content at the time of her death and stories about her past behaviour while under the influence of alcohol.

Jimmy-Charlie’s family is demanding the removal of the racism embedded in the coroner’s report and awaiting formal apologies.

“How can a body being found in a dump ever be considered ‘uneventful’ or a ‘misadventure’? To this day, the dump in Whitehorse remains far from everything. Their report makes it sound like she just walked there herself and died on a pile of garbage. No one does that. No one,” said Darlene Jimmy, Tootsie’s daughter.

The Aug. 3 statement says the Yukon RCMP will be issuing a formal apology on Aug. 5. Jimmy-Charlie’s family also expects a formal apology from the federal government.

“Although we will be relieved there is a public acknowledgement of the wrongs that were perpetrated by these institutions, it remains to be seen what is included in the formal apology,” said Tootsie’s son, Jackie Jimmy.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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