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 put other Indigenous women at risk.
“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.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org