Calgarians still in shock over the tragedy on the James Smith Cree Nation were compelled to help the survivors in their darkest days.
Alycia Two Bears organized a vigil to show support.
“I didn’t know what to do with this overwhelming sense of disconnect and helplessness.”
“I am hoping we can show James Smith Cree Nation they are not alone out there and us here in Treaty 7, we see them, we want to hold them,” Two Bears said.
She said many in her community are still processing what happened.
Ten people were killed and 18 more were injured in a stabbing rampage at 13 crime scenes on the James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon, Sask., on Sunday, making it one of Canada’s worst-ever mass killings.
“I have that numb sensation and I can’t believe this is happening,” Two Bears said.
“What can I do? It feels like everything we can do is too late but I know it’s not. It’s time to rally around community the best way we can.”
The event is 7 p.m. Friday at Olympic Plaza. She is planning on doing a jingle dance to honor the victims.
“I’m going to be jingle dancing for those who can’t,” Two Bears said. “To make sure prayers in the jingles are heard. This is a healing dance and I want it to be felt all the way over there.”
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Organizers are asking, those who can, to bring Walmart gift cards for the families and they will be mailed directly to them. Two Bears said the whole community is invited.
“We talk about Truth and Reconciliation and this is happening right here, right now. What are they ways you think you should be showing up? Are you showing up? If not, here is a chance to do some tangible and physical support for the community,” Two Bears said.
Co-organizer Bren Little Light has connections to the community. She said the gathering can be a time to lean on one another as they process what’s to come.
“As a 60’s scoop survivor, we are triggered by this. I’ve lived in trauma and don’t want to live in that,” Little Light said. “I want to help people going through this and I want to be able to assist and make sure they aren’t suffering alone and in silence.”
Lowa Beebe is planning to travel to James Smith Cree Nation in the days ahead to support the people.
“Myself, being First Nations and connected to people there, I wondered how could I help?” Beebe said.
“When there’s a community impacted, we are all affected.”
Beebe said this national tragedy is a reminder of how much the Indigenous community needs support.
“Our people and communities are the most vulnerable in the country and we need protection and we need assistance and in these tragedies, it’s these calls to action that prompt this.”