Across Canada, thousands of Indigenous testimonies have reported deficiencies in how police and medico-legal professionals investigate their deaths. The problem, however, is that these individuals are summarily and systematically denied the resources to challenge investigators and there are few cases that have done so successfully. This research establishes a comparative model to examine whether case investigation conduct aligns with standard investigative practice requirements. The qualitative sample includes three Indigenous case studies involving the suspicious deaths of young individuals in Prince Rupert, BC. The results present a central theme of inadequacy across all three cases, primarily in improper evidence collection, limited procedural follow-through, and withheld information. The outcomes of this study suggest a need for (1) future research and (2) professional action to create and uphold effective accountability measures for investigators and a critical look into how colonial powers limit investigative effectiveness for Indigenous deaths.
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Thesis advisor: Anderson, Gail
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