Advertisement

Vigil honours ‘kind-hearted woman’ slain in Point Douglas violence

Dozens gathered outside the Jarvis Avenue apartment building Saturday evening where Danielle Ballantyne died, to pay tribute to the 36-year-old mother of four, remembered for her big heart and contagious smile. Iris Dyck / Global News

Dozens of community members, family and friends gathered outside the site where Danielle Ballantyne died last week to pay tribute to the 36-year-old mother of four, remembered for her big heart and contagious smile.

“She loved everyone. She would always say, ‘I love you’ to everyone she met,” Danielle’s aunt Gail Ledoux said through tears to the crowd of mourners Saturday evening. “She was a kind-hearted woman.”

Her family also cared deeply for her in return, Danielle’s aunt Marilyn Hall said.

Family members and friends burned cedar and sage, handed out flowers and lit candles to the sound of prayers and traditional Indigenous songs.

Family, friends and members of the community play a traditional Indigenous song at the evening vigil honouring Danielle Ballantyne on Aug. 27, 2022. Iris Dyck / Global News

Some like Hall and Ledoux travelled more than 400 km from the Grand Rapids area to be there.

Story continues below advertisement

“This tragedy is very hard,” Hall said.

Read more: 2nd teen suspect arrested in connection to string of Point Douglas violence: police

Ballantyne’s body was discovered in an apartment building on Winnipeg’s Jarvis Avenue around 7 a.m. on Monday. Winnipeg police, some of whom were in attendance at the vigil, have since arrested two 15-year-olds in connection with her death.

The pair of suspects are also accused of killing a man in his 50s along with seriously assaulting another the same day.

A red dress honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls hangs outside the Jarvis Avenue apartment building on Aug. 27, 2022, where Danielle Ballantyne’s body was found the week before. Iris Dyck / Global News

Ballantyne was originally from Misipawistik Cree Nation in northern Manitoba, where she lost both parents— her father to a heart attack and her mother to a house fire.

Lorraine Ballantyne told Global News her older sister moved to Winnipeg about 10 years ago.

Story continues below advertisement

“She was very, a protective sibling out of all of our family,” Lorraine said. “Her children were the most important thing in her life. She would do anything for them. She would go above and beyond. She didn’t have much, but what she did have she would give to us and her children.”

Lorraine’s sister battled drug addictions after she came to the city but reconnected with the family after turning her life around, she said.

Lorraine Ballantyne says her older sister battled drug addictions after she moved to Winnipeg a decade ago but reconnected with the family after turning her life around before she died. Iris Dyck / Global News

Danielle experienced homelessness before she was killed and often visited N’Dinawemak at 190 Disraeli, her friends and relatives said.

She fell through the cracks of a system that doesn’t offer enough resources to Indigenous people who don’t live on reserves, her uncle Percy Ballantyne said. He called on local Indigenous organizations to take more action. Danielle’s family would forgive and pray for the teens now in custody, Percy added.

Story continues below advertisement

“If we fight fire with fire, that’s not going to be the way. It’s not going to solve nothing. It’s going to worsen things, so we need to go back to our culture, our value system and to be more kinder to one another and to support one another as Indigenous people,” he said.

Danielle’s funeral will be in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'Point Douglas community concerned after violent string of attacks'
Point Douglas community concerned after violent string of attacks

Sponsored content