Abegweit First Nation in mourning after death of 15-year-old girl

Residents of Abegweit First Nation are in mourning after the death of 15-year-old Chailo Jadis.

The teen died after being struck by a pickup truck in Alexandra, P.E.I., at around midnight Saturday, police say.

“It’s every father’s worst nightmare to get that call late at night,” said Chief Junior Gould of the First Nation about 25 kilometres northeast of Charlottetown.

He called it an “unimaginable loss” and said the teen’s parents are “in a bad spot,” but have their families and other members of the community to support them.

RCMP received bonfire complaint

RCMP from the Queens District detachment were alerted to the tragedy while responding to a complaint about a group of about 30-40 youth gathered around a bonfire near the Wharf Road in Alexandra, said RCMP Sgt. Craig Eveleigh.

“While we were there dispersing the youth, we heard a call for help,” Eveleigh said. “It came from a truck driver and passenger who [said] they believed they had just struck somebody on the ground.” 

A memorial to Chailo Jadis near the site where she was killed, in Alexandra, P.E.I. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Police found Jadis at the side of the truck and called EMS, he said. However, the teen died at the scene. 

The driver of the pickup truck and the passenger remained at the scene to answer questions, Eveleigh said. Police said while teens were drinking at the scene, the driver showed no signs of impairment.

Police continue to investigate and no charges have been laid. 

Chief Junior Gould says Chailo Jadis was an inspiring young woman with many friends on and off reserve. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Queens District RCMP at 902-368-9300. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Centre named in Jadis’s honour

Gould said Jadis was a “young, inspiring woman” with lots of friends both on and off reserve.

On Monday night, a community feast and ceremony were being planned in her memory.

The new youth centre in Abegweit First Nation is being renamed ‘Chi’s Place: 15 Forever’ in honour of Chailo Jadis. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

The community also plans to name a new youth centre in Jadis’s honour. It will be known as “Chi’s Place: 15 Forever.”

“It has to be more than just an RCMP media release … because she was more than that,” Gould said of the girl’s death.

She had more to offer to the community…. It’s just so tragic.— Chief Junior Gould

“She had more to offer to the community…. It’s just so tragic.”

The change in name will help pass along Jadis’ memory, Gould said.

“She’ll always be talked about. [People will say,] ‘Well, why’s it called Chi’s Place?’ And that story will be always continued, and everyone will carry that on for the next generation.”

At Morell Regional High School, where Jadis was a student, classes went ahead Monday but the school had supports in place, including a drop-in space where students could meet with a counsellor or spend quiet time together.

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