Mourners march to remember murder victim
Approximately 60 people gathered in the north end of Halifax on Wednesday afternoon to remember murder victim Tanya Jean Brooks.
The mourners gathered at the Mi'kmaq Educational Centre on Gottingen Street before they made their way to St. Patrick's-Alexandra School, where Brooks's body was found on Monday.
The body of the 36-year-old Mi'kmaq woman, originally from the Millbrook First Nation near Truro, N.S., was found in a window well at the school on Maitland Street on Monday afternoon.
Halifax Regional Police confirmed Tuesday night that an autopsy concluded Brooks's death was a homicide.
Several members of the group chanted to the beat of a drum as they all slowly walked along Gottingen Street. Several people placed roses near the spot where Brooks's body was found.
Melissa Maloney, a close friend of Brooks, had told CBC News on Tuesday her friend was a sex trade worker and had struggled with a drug addiction.
Helped friend overcome addiction
Doreen Bernard, from the Indian Brook First Nation near Shubenacadie, N.S., led the group in prayer on the school grounds.
"There are so many of our women that are killed, murdered, so many of our women that are missing," Bernard said as she addressed the crowd. "We're fortunate that Tanya has been found, and she will have a sacred burial."
People who knew Brooks and her family said she did not deserve to die in such a violent way regardless of the high-risk lifestyle she led.
"You know, you go down a path, and unfortunately, there are some things that are just waiting for you," said April Maloney. "It's not something she planned for herself."
"She taught us something," said Ann LaBillois, an addictions counselor. "She taught us to help look at what this addiction does."
Paul Dauphinee, a close friend of Brooks, said she helped him recover from drug addiction six months ago.
"Now that she's gone, I feel like doing it again," Dauphinee said.
Police continue to investigate Brooks's death. They're asking anyone with information to contact them.