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Coping with grief, Kelly Fraser's family releases statement

The family of Inuk recording star Kelly Amaujaq Fraser released a statement Monday revealing that Kelly died by suicide on Dec. 24 in Winnipeg.

The late Kelly Fraser struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a statement released by her family on Monday. Ben Powless photo

The statement indicates that Kelly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for many years as a result of “childhood traumas, racism and persistent cyber-bullying. She was actively seeking help and spoke openly about her personal challenges online and through her journey... She was fiercely open with her fans in the hopes that sharing her struggles might help them know they were not alone.”

Other than the statement, the family requested privacy.

“We are still in complete shock and our hearts bleed for our sister. Let us celebrate Kelly’s generosity, honesty, passion and love of life,” a post by Jessie Aputi Fraser reads.

Kelly, who grew up in Sanikiluaq but more recently resided in Winnipeg, is survived by her mother Theresa Angoo and siblings Mellow, Maxine, Jessie, Rachel, Christopher and Oliver.

Although memorial services are being arranged in Winnipeg and Iqaluit, various details, including dates, have yet to be confirmed.

An online fundraiser in support of Kelly's siblings surpassed $40,000 as of Monday afternoon. The Gofundme initiative started out with a goal of $5,000.

Kelly Fraser, 26, released two albums. The second, titled Sedna, was nominated for a Juno in the Indigenous Music Album of the Year category in 2018.

She had announced plans to return to the recording studio in 2020 for a project she labelled "Decolonize" with an aim to use pop, hiphop and rock to tell the story of "colonialism of Inuit/Indigenous people."

For those seeking help or counselling there are a variety of options. The Kamatsiaqtut Help Line is available at (867) 979-3333 or (800) 265-3333. The Kids Help Phone can be reached at 1-800-668-6868.