A five-year-old boy who died Monday after being found in a pond near École Dundonald School has been laid to rest.
A funeral was held Tuesday for Ahmedsadiq Elmmi at Saskatoon’s Islamic Centre, as the Somali-Canadian and larger Muslim community gathered to pay their respects to the boy’s family.
Saskatoon Somali Community president Shafii Mohamed told 650 CKOM Wednesday the kindergartener’s family was new to Saskatoon, having moved from Prince Albert in early July.
“He was a special child,” Mohamed said. “We can’t believe we lost a child.”
He noted Elmmi was autistic and may have needed one-on-one supervision, though it was unclear what the school had arranged for the boy.
Elmmi was reported missing Monday morning as recess at the school came to an end around 10:50 a.m. Police found him shortly after in a retention pond about 100 metres from the playground.
The boy was taken to hospital by MD Ambulance as paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at Royal University Hospital early in the afternoon.
The community leader said there was mounting frustration from the family over a lack of communication with Saskatoon Public Schools.
“They didn’t reach out to (the family), they didn’t offer support,” Mohamed said. “The parents were left in the dark … it’s not helping the situation.”
In an email to 650 CKOM, school division spokesperson Veronica Baker said there were attempts to contact the family within 24 hours to offer condolences. She added board trustees and staff attended Elmmi’s funeral, and the Director of Education, Barry MacDougall, was invited to the family’s home Wednesday morning.
Baker said MacDougall shared what the school division knows regarding the “details of the accident,” and what the next steps would be.
The Somali community is also stepping up to help. The Elmmi family has been offered rides, food and other assistance to help ease the burden of day-to-day life as they grieve.
“We share in their pain,” Mohamed said. “Saskatoon loves them.”