A jury began hearing the initial case against two people charged in the murder of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair.

Police believe the young girl was killed in June 2005 in the basement of a home on the Fisher River Cree Nation.

Phoenix's mother Samantha Kematch and her common-law husband Karl McKay are both charged with first degree murder.

Crown attorney Rick Saull told the jury that charge can be brought when a victim is forcibly confined, saying that "This child was treated in a way that far exceeds parental discipline. Something we intend to prove."

It's believed the little girl was killed on or around June 11, 2005, but her remains weren't found until 10 months later.

The crown told the jury that McKay pointed at the spot where Phoenix was buried despite the fact the area was now covered in snow.

All that investigators could find were the remains of the girl.

Bones were then analyzed and compared against her mother's DNA.

The crown says an anthropologist is expected to testify in the trial saying that there were dozens of injuries to these bones.

The jury was told there was a medical facility on the reserve, but that the couple didn't take Phoenix there, and only made feeble attempts to revive the girl.

"After the final blows were administered she was left to die on a cold basement floor by both of them," said Saull.

The Prosecution suggests the accused wrapped her body in plastic, borrowed a shovel from a neighbour and buried her near a garbage dump.

With a report from CTV's Kelly Dehn