[SPECIAL REPORT] Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change

Bernie Adams in Kangiqsujuaq, Canada. (Eilís Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)
When Bernie Adams’ 19-year-old son Robert was stabbed to death in the Inuit village of Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec in March 2018, Adams thought nothing could hurt more.

But being an Inuk trying to navigate a child’s violent death in Quebec only amplified his grief, Adams says.

The Viens Commission into the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Quebec’s public services will wind up its hearings by the end of 2018 with a final report expected the following September.

But Adams says while Quebec and Canada’s numerous reports and commissions on Indigenous peoples over the last 20 years get big headlines in the South, they’ve done little to change day-to-day life in remote Inuit communities like his.

Now, says this father, he wants answers.

Over a period of eight months, Eye on the Arctic followed the Adams family as they navigated mental health services, the coroner’s office and the justice system in the aftermath of Robert’s death.

Reporting was done from Kangiqsujuaq, Montreal and the village of Kuujjuaq, the administrative capital of Nunavik, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec.

This is our special report.

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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