Although she did not take the stand herself in the coroner’s inquest into the death of Nadine Solonas, one of the most impacted people grieving her loss is her daughter Martina. The young woman now lives in Prince George but travelled to Quesnel where the examination was held – the town in which her mother lived at the time she died.
In the end, the inquest jury heard from 26 witnesses and made the recommendation that the B.C. police should create a position so that Indigenous people in their custody, who distrust mainstream authority, as Solonas did, have someone they can talk to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if they are in need of medical attention but hesitating to receive it.
“For the verdict, I believe having an Indigenous support worker available 24/7 or on-call to help someone who is in custody that doesn’t trust police or paramedics (someone in uniform) to get medical treatment, (is a good thing),” Martina said, “which was the case for my mom, who didn’t trust anyone in uniform. If someone ends up in custody, and if they seem to have been injured in some sort of way, first thing to do and would be ideal is to seek medical treatment regardless. I hope this helps for the future, to prevent this from happening to another person and their family.”
The testimony was graphic and frank, on many occasions, but Martina was intent on knowing the best information possible about her mother’s fate.
“It does make me feel better knowing exactly what happened, from start to finish, and hearing everyone’s statement throughout the week. It brought us closure in a way,” she said.