Recently re-elected Samson Chief Vernon Saddleback spoke to those gathered about the many lives that have been lost this year, due to disease and violence, and encouraged everyone to be mindful of how they and there neighbours.                                Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Recently re-elected Samson Chief Vernon Saddleback spoke to those gathered about the many lives that have been lost this year, due to disease and violence, and encouraged everyone to be mindful of how they and there neighbours. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Vigil held in Maskwacis for 10-year-old boy

Samson Cree Nation comes together for comfort, console each other

The hope was it would bring the community together and help heal each other.

That was the purpose of the candlelight vigil Aug. 9 in front of the Samson Cree Nation administration office, organized by the Maskwacis Christian Coalition — a group of seven churches that serve Maskwacis.

More than 50 people came out to listen to the various speakers following the tragic death of a 10-year-old boy on Aug. 5.

READ MORE: RCMP Major Crimes Unit lay Manslaughter charge against youth

Samson Chief Vernon Saddleback spoke about how many people have reached out to him, attempting to make sense of the tragedy.

“It’s a tragedy you can’t fathom. It’s a sombre time, one that is testing the faith of our people,” Saddleback said.

“It is in this time of grief, we need to be strong, need to acknowledge what is going on — that some of our people are struggling, but there are healthy choices to stay connected.”

He explained that at least 44 people have died of various means this year so far, “while our average for many years has been 52 and it sounds like a lot because it is. I don’t want this year to be defined that we lost all these people.”

One of the church leaders to speak was Pastor Mario Swampy of the Louis Bull All Nations Church, who shared his unique perspective since he is also a Samson band councillor.

“Born and raised here, losing many family members and hearing and seeing the trauma around us on a regular basis, I truly believe many of us have some level of stress and trauma,” he said.

“What I have recognized though, is that we have to start looking in the mirror and ask how we can be part of the solution. I think all of us here are motivated to continue to support and offer the help and love to others.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Maskwacis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Samson Chief Vernon Saddleback talks to the crowd gathered Aug. 9 for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the tragic death of a 10-year-old less than a week earlier.                                Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Samson Chief Vernon Saddleback talks to the crowd gathered Aug. 9 for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the tragic death of a 10-year-old less than a week earlier. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Individual candles were handed out at the vigil, instead of the normal passing of the candle, in an effort to promote safety in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.                                Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Individual candles were handed out at the vigil, instead of the normal passing of the candle, in an effort to promote safety in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

(File photo)
After several years in limbo, Parkland Manor to be torn down

Rimoka Housing Foundation has received funding and approval for the demolition

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

Most Read