As the community of La Loche laid Marie Janvier to rest, a group of people gathered in Saskatoon’s Victoria Park for a vigil Saturday.
Two dozen people, with candles in hand, gathered in a circle along the riverfront to say prayers, offer words of comfort and share hugs.
Organizer Hanah Molloy wanted to show support for her friend Sarah, who is also the sister of Janvier.
“I really did want to be up there with her, and to show support I thought bringing people here in the city together would be the best way to do that,” Molloy said.
Dennis Moyer said a friend’s words about the first law of thermodynamics, offered to him when he lost his sister, helped him grieve and move forward.
“Energy never disappears,” he said to the group. “The energy that we know and the people that we’ve lost just changes states to the point where we can perceive it anymore, but it’s always there.”
Janvier is the first the four La Loche shooting victims to be laid to rest.
In her obituary, the 21-year-old teacher’s aid was described as a “truly one of a kind” woman who was “endlessly loving and thoughtful people and animals.”
She brought food and water to animals left behind during this past summer’s northern evacuations caused by forest fires.
“With Marie, there was no guessing to what she was thinking or feeling. She let you know. Her honesty was one of her many great virtues,” the obituary reads. “She was a rare gem, a precious soul, a spirit without bounds. We will miss her and we know she is with us all in our hearts and souls.”
Moyer and others who spoke also offered words for teen who faces murder charges in the case. He said he wanted to acknowledge the pain of the young man who caused the tragedy and who chose to act out his pain in a violent way, rather than seek help.
Moving forward, Molloy hopes community leaders listen to the people of La Loche and find solutions within the community.
“I hope that the change and transformation comes from the the folks in La Loche and that we give our listening ears to what they require,” she said.