The place the pavement ends on Vary Highway 84 north of Glendon, wooden and steel crosses mark the spot the place two Metis males have been slain.
Round 40 members of the family and buddies of Jake Sansom and Morris Cardinal, who have been discovered shot to demise March 28, gathered with heads bowed and tearful eyes to say goodbye at a small ceremony on a windy, heat Saturday afternoon. Many wore black T-shirts saying “Justice for Jake and Morris.”
“We don’t know what occurred, however God is aware of what occurred,” stated Willie Cardinal, Morris Cardinal’s cousin, who officiated the ceremony. “This can be a very unhappy ending for 2 superb males. They have been beloved by so many individuals.”
The day earlier than they died, Sansom and his uncle Morris Cardinal spent the day searching on Crown land at Seibert Lake to feed their households after Sansom misplaced his job resulting from COVID-19. They introduced a moose to a member of the family’s house in Glendon, and have been discovered shot to demise not removed from there the subsequent morning.
Willie Cardinal says Sansom was like his son: “I referred to as him my boy.”
He was coaching Sansom to be a pipe service and chief in his stead, Willie Cardinal stated.
Three males beat hand drums and sang conventional songs. 4 ladies, Morris Cardinal’s cousins from the Kehewin Cree Nation, joined them within the emotional tunes sporting ceremonial ribbon skirts.
The primary tune was meant to free the lads’s spirits to maneuver on. Different songs have been prayers meant to consolation the household that misses them.
Ruby Smith, Sansom’s mom and Morris Cardinal’s sister who organized the occasion, stated it was vital their spirits be freed now, and never await when a proper celebration of life can happen after the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
“It’s to honour them, is admittedly what that is. It’s our solution to say goodbye,” she stated.
Some introduced flowers and wreaths with antlers and fishing hooks, commemorating Sansom and Morris Cardinal’s shared love for the outside and searching. They have been positioned alongside the fence of the commercial property adjoining to the highway the place their our bodies have been found.
Others stated the prayer Our Father and skim Psalm 23 from the Bible.
A smudging ceremony with sage happened for the members of the family. The crosses, adorned with flowers and rosaries, have been additionally smudged and blessed with holy water.
Police put in barricades on the entrances to the intersection, a courtesy the household welcomed.
The place they died
Willie Cardinal walked between two orange pylons on the highway the place their our bodies have been discovered, sprinkling holy water.
“Smudging is one thing like holy water, it’s the identical factor,” he stated.
Smith stated it represented each their cultures and religions – Catholic and Metis – and it will permit their spirits to transfer on, so that they aren’t sure to the earth.
The formal celebrations of life will embrace conventional drummers in addition to gospel singers.
Justice for Jake and Morris
Gabe Cardinal, Morris Cardinal’s cousin, inspired the household to pursue justice in deaths.
“The justice system doesn’t actually work for us,” he stated, asking them not to surrender.
Jake Sansom’s brother Michael Sansom additionally stated he needs to see justice.
“(I really feel) depressed, unhappy and indignant,” he stated. “They’d provide the shirt off their again that can assist you …. They aren’t the sort to go beginning bother.”
Anthony Michael Bilodeau has been charged with two counts of second-degree homicide.
He has entered a not-guilty plea and elected to a trial by decide and jury.
Bilodeau is scheduled to seem in St. Paul provincial court docket June 18 to set a date for a preliminary inquiry.
Editor’s be aware: This story has been modified to accurately point out Willie Cardinal’s relationship to Morris Cardinal.