AMC seeks answers to the many questions surrounding the death of Krystal Mousseau

June 18, 2021

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement in response to the official critical incident investigation into the May 25th death of Krystal Mousseau, a citizen of the Ebb and Flow First Nation and seriously ill COVID-19 patient who died while being airlifted to Ottawa due to a lack of critical care beds in the Prairie Mountain Health region.  

In 2006, Manitoba introduced mandatory no-blame critical incident reporting across the health system to support a culture of learning and openness. Manitoba’s legislation defines a critical incident as “an unintended event that occurs when health services are provided to an individual and results in a consequence to him or her that is serious and undesired.” This can include death, injury and disability, and “does not result from the individual’s underlying health condition or from a risk inherent in providing the health services.”  

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “First and foremost, I want to, on behalf of the Assembly, extend my sincere condolences to Krystal’s family and loved ones. This is a terrible tragedy that befell this young woman and the AMC will attempt to provide as much support as possible to the family and to the Ebb and Flow First Nation. While a terrible loss. I also want to acknowledge our provincial health partners for considering the contributing factors and for designating Krystal’s death as a critical incident.”  

Grand Chief Dumas added, “Along with the family and First Nation, the AMC will be closely monitoring this investigation in order to assist where it can. Along with the family, the AMC will also be seeking answers to many questions, including determining the impact of contracted air transport on First Nations patients during the pandemic, and to seek to understand and confirm the underlying factors that led to COVID-19 patients being airlifted to other provinces for critical care treatment.”  

“Manitobans can clearly see the impacts of the health policy decisions of the Province to balance their books by cutting critical care beds during a pandemic, the policy decisions that disrespect nurses and that leave them without a contract for more than four years, and the policy decisions that brought Manitoba infamy as the worst jurisdiction in North America for COVID-19 infection rates at this point in the pandemic.” 

“The privatization of the air ambulance service is another policy decision of the Province and I anticipate that the quality and safety standards of contracted health air transport will be considered within the critical incident investigation. We hope this investigation will bring about recommendations that can prevent future tragedies and deaths of not only First Nations citizens but all Manitobans. To that end, I am calling on Shared Health and the Prairie Mountain Health Authority to provide a seat for First Nations at the table and for a role into its investigation,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.  

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