The Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Phoenix Sinclair was established in March 2011 by the Government of Manitoba, to investigate the death of Phoenix Sinclair - a five-year-old aboriginal girl who was murdered by her mother and stepfather. Her death went undiscovered for nine months. From the time of her birth Phoenix and her family were in and out of contact with the child welfare system in Manitoba.
The inquiry reviewed the child welfare services that were delivered to Phoenix and her family, and attempted to find out why the death went undiscovered for so long. In addition, the commission is examining the systemic issues that underlie this case, including the conditions and challenges that bring urban aboriginal people into contact with the child welfare system and the services and programs that exist, or ought to exist, outside the child welfare system to support families and prevent tragedies such as this one.
The Atkinson Centre’s, Kerry McCuaig prepared a discussion paper and presented to the commission on May 29, 2013 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.