10/08/2015 11:57 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

Influential First Nations group demands independent probe into teen's death

VANCOUVER — Powerful First Nations leaders in British Columbia are speaking with a single voice as they demand an independent investigation into the death of a teenager in government care.

The First Nations Leadership Council has sent a letter to Premier Christy Clark urging an immediate independent inquiry into the death of 18-year-old Alex Gervais.

He fell from a fourth-floor window of an Abbotsford hotel on Sept. 18, and children's representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has said it's believed he killed himself.

The leadership council says recent comments by Clark are inflammatory and make it impossible to conduct a fair and impartial investigation.

Council members say the Representative for Children and Youth must take over the probe to ensure the inquiry is independent.

The First Nations Leadership Council speaks on behalf of three influential First Nations organizations, including the First Nations Summit and Grand Chief Edward John, who was recently appointed B.C.'s senior adviser on aboriginal child welfare.




The Canadian Press