Tragic Accident: 5 Mistissini Residents Lost

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Update 1: Chief Richard Shecapio Interview

Richard Shecapio called in this morning (April 3, 2015), to give an update on the cabin fire that occurred in Lake Bussy, north of Mistissini, that claimed the lives of five Mistissini residents. As Chief Shecapio explained, the hunters were expected to be back in the community on March 30th and on April 1st, the community had been notified that the hunters had not returned.

A local air company, Waasheshkun Airways and pilot Philip Petawabano, had been requested to check the camp and see if they could find the hunters. Upon their arrival, they had discovered that the cabin had burned down and called in the regional police force. The call had been placed at 2:00PM, on April 1st, and this is when the police investigation had begun; the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) had also been notified. On April 2nd, at approximately 1:30PM, a confirmation had been made that they had recovered 5 bodies from the scene.

We will provide more information as it becomes available to us and invite you to listen to the interviews below, to get additional information.


Original Post


We received news yesterday that 5 members of the Cree Nation of Mistissini were lost to a tragic fire, while staying out at their hunting camp. Not much is known at this time, about the events surrounding the fire, as police will need to perform an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come released the following statement: 

We were shocked and devastated to learn about the tragic accident resulting in the loss of five of our Cree youth in a fire while hunting. We have lost David Jimiken, Emmett Coonishish, Chiiwetin Coonishish, Kevin Loon and Charlie Gunner. On behalf of the entire Cree Nation, I extend our deepest condolences to the families and to the community of Mistissini who must all now find a source of compassion and strength to endure this terrible tragedy and to support one another in a journey of healing.

At a time of such unfathomable loss we can only express our deepest sympathies to the families and pray that the knowledge of the full support of the entire Cree Nation will help in some way in providing comfort and easing the terrible pain they are suffering. Their loss is a loss for the Cree Nation and we mourn with them. Their tragedy is the Cree Nation’s tragedy. May their memories be a blessing and a source of sustenance as we collectively come to terms with this frightful occurrence.

On behalf of the entire Cree Nation,

Matthew Coon Come Grand Chief

We at JBCCS would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and community members of those lost to this tragic accident. The people of Mistissini are in our thoughts, it is a difficult time for the community. We've attached a prayer from Gordon Petawabano, we spoke with him this morning (April 2nd, 2015) and he shared these kind words. We will be updating this page and announcing over the radio, as we get more information.