News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

November 23, 2023

Standing Hearing Set for Inquest into the Death of John George Ettawakapow

A standing hearing will take place to determine who can participate in the upcoming inquest into the death of John George Ettawakapow, 54, of The Pas. 

On Oct. 5, 2019, The Pas RCMP were called to a location near a business in The Pas where they found Ettawakapow unconscious. After police intervention, Ettawakapow regained consciousness and was detained under the Intoxicated Persons Detention Act after being deemed unable to care for himself. He was lodged in an RCMP cell with two other intoxicated individuals. Early the following morning, he was discovered unresponsive in the cell. He was not breathing and could not be resuscitated. A review of the cell’s surveillance video showed another individual rolled over while asleep and one of his legs came to rest across Ettawakapow’s neck for approximately 40 minutes before the individual rolled over and lifted the leg.  

Under the Fatality Inquiries Act, an inquest has been called by the chief medical examiner. Inquests explore the circumstances and events leading to deaths for the purpose of finding out what, if anything, might be done to prevent similar deaths in the future. 

Before the inquest begins, the judge will decide who can participate in the process and question witnesses. Individuals and groups may make an application to be granted standing and participate in the inquest. Those interested in applying for standing should contact Ben Wickstrom, inquest counsel, at 431-334-2936 or by Dec. 21.  

The standing hearing will be held on Jan. 3, 2024, at 9 a.m. in courtroom A at the Manitoba Provincial Court, 300 Third St. East, The Pas. 

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