The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is calling for systemic changes to federal prisons following the death of a First Nations man.

CAP Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin said its been one year since the suicide of Curtis McKenzie at Saskatchewan Penitentiary, and little information is known about the cause.

“One-year later and the Province of Saskatchewan has not provided any updates on their internal investigation into Curtis McKenzie’s death,” said Beaudin. “His family and friends deserve closure on his death, and we should not be in the dark on the circumstances that allowed for this happen. The trend of Indigenous Peoples being abused by the corrections system is nothing new, and I have had numerous families reach out regarding similar failures.”

Last year, Beaudin stated that the Corrections Services of Canada ignored McKenzie’s mental health issues.

“He was struggling with trauma, mental health issues and addiction, and not once received proper care from Correction Services Canada. His mental health deteriorated after CSC put him in extended solitary confinement,” explained Beaudin.

At the time of McKenzie’s death, he was serving a two-year sentence for breaching conditions and break and enter of a non-dwelling. His sentence began in May 2018. The CSC has not released McKenzie’s cause of death, but said that the circumstances are being reviewed.