Six Nations Elected Council responds to sexual abuse, neglect allegations at Iroquois Lodge

OHSWEKEN — Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council says an October 2023 inspection report from Iroquois Lodge long-term care facility is of “serious concern” to council and that it will conduct a thorough review of the lodge in response.

In a statement issued Tuesday, SNGR said it learned of the reported sexual abuse and other serious infractions at the lodge on Nov. 28 after an inspection by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The Oct. 19 inspection report says the lodge (referred to as the licensee) failed to ensure that an alleged incident of sexual abuse of a resident was reported to the director or police immediately. The report does not specify a date the sexual abuse occurred but states that a staff member witnessed another staff member “in a sexual encounter with a resident.”

The report said its sources regarding the sexual abuse incident are from resident clinical records, interviews with staff and that the “sexual abuse was substantiated during their investigation.”

The report further states that the lodge failed to ensure police were immediately notified of the suspected incident of sexual abuse that may have constituted a criminal offence.

“Failure to immediately report the sexual abuse to the police resulted in potential risk to residents due to lack of police investigation” the report states.

The report, which is publicly available, “referenced several written notifications about certain alleged incidents at Iroquois Lodge, which are of serious concern to Elected Council” SNGR said in the statement.

Other infractions include failure to ensure all doors leading outside of the home were locked and that skin and wound care procedures were not followed for two residents.

One resident later died in hospital of sepsis.

“An initial assessment of the wound should have been completed and was not, as indicated by a review of the resident’s clinical record and an interview with registered nursing staff” the inspection report stated.

One of the resident’s wounds became infected. The report states that there were no changes to the resident’s care routine after learning of this infection.

Because of that failure, the report noted, that increased the risk of worsening skin integrity for the resident.

The lodge has been ordered to re-educate all nursing staff of the process on weekly wound inspections and maintaining records of wound inspections.

The report stated one resident with open wounds was eventually admitted to hospital with sepsis and later died.

Another infraction identified in the report was the failure to obtain a vulnerable sector screening check for two staff members at the lodge. Not having the vulnerable screening check placed residents at potential risk of harm, the report said.

As a result, council said, “a thorough review will be conducted of existing policies, clinical processes, and procedures to ensure that Iroquois Lodge residents and their families receive the highest standards of quality care. In response to any identified gaps, Elected Council will take all necessary steps to address the needs of Iroquois Lodge residents and the wider community.”

SNGR said it will provide updates with further information as it becomes available.

Elected Council said it “acknowledges the dedicated and hard-working staff members who continue to provide 24/7 care and service to Six Nations residents at Iroquois Lodge. We are committed to increasing the quality of care in every way possible in partnership with Iroquois lodge, its residents, and their families.”

It’s not yet known what happened to the staff member accused of the sexual assault.

Six Nations spokesperson Darryl Smart did not return requests for further comment by press time.

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