B.C. Coroner's inquest begins into death of Traevon Chalifoux-Desjarlais
Traevon Chalifoux-Desjarlais was found dead on September 18, 2020 in the home of a group home in Abbotsford.
The BC Coroner's Office public inquest into the death of Traevon Chalifoux-Desjarlais at an Abbotsford group home begins Monday in Burnaby. The 17-year-old Cree teenager was found dead in his bedroom closet on September 18, 2020, four days after his disappearance which was the subject of a police investigation.
At the time of his death, Treavon Chalifoux-Desjarlais was living in a group home operated by Rees Family Services, a company under contract with Xyolhemeylh, an Aboriginal agency under the Department of Child and Family Development.
The teen was in the temporary custody of this agency under a consent agreement.
When his body was found , the Abbotsford Police Department and the coroner in charge of the case determined that a full investigation or autopsy was not necessary.
This decision was denounced by family members of Treavon Chalifoux-Desjarlais, who asked for help from First Nations leaders. Following their intervention, the coroner's office changed its mind and ordered an autopsy.
The family also called for a public inquest to shed light on what happened. led to the death of the teenager.
In April 2021, the teenager's mother, Samantha Chalifoux, filed a complaint in the Provincial Human Rights Tribunal against the government of British Columbia, the provincial representative for children and young people, the society Fraser Valley Child and Family Services, known as Xyolhemeylh, the Provincial Coroners Service, Rees Family Services, the Abbotsford Police Service and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.
Samantha Chalifoux's complaint relates to the way she was treated following the death of her son. It also contains allegations of lack of transparency by government agencies.
The complaint seeks to highlight systemic issues surrounding the deaths of Indigenous children in care. charge, his attorney, Sarah Rauch, said at the time. [Samantha Chalifoux] really cares that this doesn't happen to another child.