Grief and healing as La Loche comes together for winter festival

Nearly one month after a deadly shooting upended their small town, the residents of La Loche, Sask. are working to heal.

See Full Article

The community gathered to celebrate the winter season and find comfort at their annual winter festival this week.

Inside the local ice rink, young hockey players strapped on their skates, and outside, children ran back and forth over the snow, racing to pile wood, hammer nails into logs and carry sacks of flour as part of the festival games .

"A lot of kids are getting together, talking, laughing, crying together," Farris Lemaigre, an employee at the La Loche Friendship Centre, told CTV Regina. "Everybody's growing."

Beyond the festival games, however, signs of grief remain scattered around the community.

Flowers and other tributes poke through a layer of snow outside the La Loche Community School Dene Building, where a gunman shot and killed a teacher and young teaching assistant on Jan. 22. The shooter also killed two teens at a nearby home earlier that day.

A suspect, who cannot be named because he was 17-years-old at the time of the incident, now faces four counts of first-degree murder.

On Wednesday, the school's vice president said students and staff plan to march through town to the site of the shooting, where they will symbolically reclaim the space.

"We have to move on," community elder Pauline Fontaine said. "And the kids, they have to (move on) too."

Student activity has already restarted in the school. The boys' volleyball team is back to practising in the gym and students are invited to sign up for counselling.

There are also plans to increase security at the school.

Ken Ladouceur, the director of education at the Northern Lights School District, said the district aims to provide security from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., while classes are in session, as well as in the evening when there are other activities in the building.

The RCMP is also providing a school resource officer, Ladouceur said.

More efforts are also planned to help the community honour the shooting victims and cope with their grief.

As the winter festival comes to a close this weekend, artist Douglas Lingelbach is scheduled to carve an ice sculpture in memory of the four victims who died in the attack. And the festival will wrap up with a comedy show entitled "Healing with Laughter."

With files from CTV Regina



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • China says misleading to suggest it needs trade deal due to slowing economy

    World News CBC News
    China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it was misleading to suggest Beijing needed a trade deal with the United States because its economy was slowing, following a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump. China's economic growth was "not bad," said ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang in comments made at a daily news briefing in Beijing. Source
  • 4-story building collapses in India; several feared trapped

    World News CTV News
    MUMBAI, India -- A four-story residential building collapsed Tuesday in a crowded neighbourhood in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, and several people were feared trapped in the rubble, an official said. Fire official Ashok Talpade said rescuers had reached the site in Mumbai's Dongri section and pulled out three people and rushed them to a hospital. Source
  • How Zoe the lab sniffed out 2 missing girls in Ontario's Algonquin Park

    Canada News CBC News
    About 90 minutes after starting to search for two 16-year-old girls who had been missing in Ontario's Algonquin Park since Thursday, Zoe began showing the telltale signs that she had picked up a scent. "That's what you want to look for when the dogs acquire a track. Source
  • Jagmeet Singh tours Quebec in hopes of avoiding an NDP wipeout

    Canada News CBC News
    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is taking a Quebec road trip this week, visiting a handful of ridings he hopes his party can hold in October's federal election. But even though his pit stops are in ridings that offer the NDP some of its best chances for hanging on, Singh still faces an uphill climb to win any of them. Source
  • National Métis group gave IT contracts to 2 companies linked to policy adviser

    Canada News CBC News
    The Métis National Council (MNC), facing its second federal audit in the last seven years, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to two companies directed by the same MNC policy adviser for IT-related work, according to records obtained by CBC News. Source
  • Tweets condemned as racist are part of Trump's plan, and strategists say it may work

    World News CBC News
    The chorus of condemnation U.S. President Donald Trump faced from pundits, Democrats and even a few Republicans Monday was loud and necessary but, ultimately, helped Trump accomplish what he set out to do, say some Republican strategists. Source
  • NASA's latest bid to return to the moon by 2024 may be a bit unrealistic, experts say

    World News CBC News
    This is part of our CBC News 50th anniversary coverage of the Apollo 11 mission resulting in the historic first human landing on the moon. On Dec. 14, 1972, NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan lifted his foot from the dusty lunar surface one final time. Source
  • Toronto man whose family died in Boeing 737 Max crash: Scrap the jet

    Canada News CTV News
    Paul Njoroge says he believes Boeing should scrap the 737 Max, and he wants the company's top executives to resign and face criminal charges for not grounding the plane after a deadly accident last October. Source
  • Pakistan reopens airspace, ending months of flight restrictions

    World News CTV News
    Pakistan on Tuesday fully reopened its airspace for all civilian traffic, ending months of restrictions affecting major international routes including from India after clashes between the nuclear-armed rivals brought them to the brink of war. Source
  • Quake damages buildings on Bali, other Indonesian islands

    World News CTV News
    DENPASAR, Indonesia -- An earthquake shook Bali and other Indonesian islands Tuesday, causing panic and damaging homes and other buildings, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The magnitude 5.7 quake was centred at sea 82 kilometres (51 miles) to the southwest of Denpasar on Bali at a depth of 91 kilometres (57 miles), the U.S. Source