The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Offers Condolences to the Family and Communities of the Four Children Who Perished in House Fire

October 30, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) offer their condolences as we mourn the loss of four children who perished in a house fire in Thompson, Manitoba, on October 26, 2022.

The children, who the family has identified as Helen Joy Keeper, 10, Leon Keeper Jr., 9, Big Bear Keeper, 7, and Rowan Thomas, 4, all died after being rushed to the hospital. The children are members of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation and the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, where their family, leadership, and community members have been deeply affected by the loss. The children were known for their open and loving nature and as compassionate beings with a bright future ahead of them.

Grand Chief Cathy Merrick shared her condolences to the Chiefs on the final day of the AMC Annual General Assembly. All in attendance stood for a moment of silence and prayer for the family and communities affected. Grand Chief Cathy Merrick requested a donation basket be sent around, and $1500 was raised, which AMC, Chiefs-in-Assembly, Pimicikamak Cree Nation, God’s River First Nation, and First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba (FNHSSM) have matched. Chief David Monias of Pimicikamak Cree Nation will bring the families the monies raised to support them during this difficult time.

“We grieve the loss of four bright spirits who have impacted the community with positivity and loving-kindness. I send my condolences to Shelly Thomas and her family and to Leon Keeper and his family. I also give condolences to Chief Doreen Spence and the Tataskweyak Cree Nation and to Chief David Monias and my home community of Pimicikamak Cree Nation,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “I will be offering my prayers as the family gathers this weekend for a vigil and mourn together over this tragedy.”


For more information, please contact:
Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs


About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.