|Birth: ||Apr. 23, 2000|
|Death: ||Jun., 2005|
Phoenix, aged 5, was found dead on the Fisher River Cree First Nation reserve located about 150 km north of Winnipeg. She had been in and out of foster care for most of her short life until her birth mother regained custody about a year before the girl's death. The mother and stepfather were sentenced in December 2008 to life in prison for first-degree murder. They are appealing but agreed to release the girl's remains, which had been held as evidence.
A funeral was held at the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre in Winnipeg on April 23, 2009, the day Phoenix would have celebrated her ninth birthday. The service was open to the public and attended by over two hundred people. Phoenix was remembered as a happy girl who loved to laugh and play games. She liked to swim and have fun with her cousins. She was compared to a rose just beginning to open with tender soft petals. Like a rose, her life was cut short, said the pastor leading the service. Her former foster mother, Kim Edwards, described Phoenix as an affectionate child who was polite, loved to laugh, was bright and so very beautiful. "She had skin like a China doll."
Phoenix is survived by her biological father, Steve Sinclair, and other relatives. Her death will be the subject of a full public inquiry into Manitoba's child welfare system. It is expected to begin sometime this year and comes after two government reviews.
March 25, 2011 - As the mother and stepfather have since exhausted all avenues of appeal, the Attorney General of Manitoba announced that the Inquiry into the circumstance of Phoenix Sinclair's death will be conducted by a retired judge, Hon. Ted Hughes, with the report to be filed by March 30, 2012.
January 31, 2014 - The Manitoba government apologized for the child welfare system's failure to protect Phoenix Sinclair, as the long-delayed report was released. The public inquiry sat for sat for 91 days and heard testimony from 126 witnesses. The report contains 62 recommendations for improving the child welfare system.
*Sincere thanks to Sparkysgrl for the generous sponsorship of this memorial.
Created by: Milou
Record added: Apr 23, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36242420