MP ASHTON'S LETTER TO MINISTER PHILPOTT REGARDING ABRAHAM DONKEY

Minister Philpott

162 Confederation Building

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A0A6

October 17th, 2018

Dear Minister Philpott,

I am writing to you today in regards to the tragic death of Abraham Donkey, a 58 year old northern Manitoban heart patient of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation who died during a 10-hour Greyhound bus trip to see a Winnipeg doctor after being denied a flight.

Ten days after getting heart surgery he needed to travel 900 km to Winnipeg for follow up. Indigenous Services turned down his family’s requests and refused to send him by plane or with an escort.

That night Abraham died, alone on the bus. Other passengers heard him take his last breath.

Systemic racism kills. Systemic underfunding kills. Abraham's family is seeking justice and to ensure this never happens again.

After consulting with Mr. Donkey’s family, I’m asking that you meet with them and also hold a public inquiry into his death. In particular, I believe his family and the public at large deserve to know why his flight and escort requests were denied. What steps will the Government take to ensure these type of tragedies never happen again?

I look forward to your timely response to this vital issue.

Sincerely,

 Niki Ashton, MP

Churchill – Keewatinook Aski