Winnipeggers honour Mavis Ducharme at vigil days after deadly attack
'The violence on these streets must stop,' friend of Ducharme says
More than 100 people gathered Tuesday night to honour and mourn a woman killed in Winnipeg last weekend.
"I'm amazed by the support me and my family have received, it's overwhelming," said Peter Ducharme. "We got to stand up, try to end the violence on the streets."
His younger sister Mavis Ducharme was attacked in the 500 block of Stella Avenue on Saturday. The 39-year-old mother of six was sent to hospital in critical condition but died of her injuries Sunday.
Investigators later learned a man and a woman had forced their way into Ducharme's home and attacked her and her common-law husband, police said. Ducharme escaped to a nearby residence but was chased by the two people, who attacked her again, police said.
The incident was drug-related, a police spokesperson told CBC News.
Son 'tried to fight back,' uncle says
Peter said Mavis's son witnessed the attack and tried to intervene.
Sandy Banman, one of Mavis's friends, sang and drummed with others at the vigil.
"Mavis is such a beautiful soul, a beautiful spirit and I couldn't imagine anyone would want to take that away from her," Banman said.
"We stand here [at the vigil] … to celebrate her life and who she was as a mother and wife and a sister, and a daughter, and an auntie and a friend."
Banman said it was important to acknowledge the loss of another indigenous woman to violence.
"The violence on these streets must stop," she said. "I don't want anybody ever to let Mavis's children forget how much she loved them, and how much she cared for them."
"We're all family and I just don't like to see death," Houle said. "It hurts me as much as it hurts them."
Ducharme was a long-term volunteer with Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre in the North End, the organization said.
Peter said his sister's death has brought the family closer, but he still can't believe she is gone.
"This is senseless," he said.
Some of Ducharme's family also held a vigil for her Tuesday in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Man., where her children, partner and parents are grieving together.
With files from CBC's Erin Brohman