Northern Saskatchewan communities showed their unity Wednesday night while paying respect to La Loche shooting victim Marie Janvier.

A procession left Saskatoon early Tuesday evening and ended 602 km away in La Loche, Sask. It's a long drive, but Janvier's family were not alone.

More than five communities along the way held candlelight vigils for the 21-year-old educational assistant at the La Loche Community School. A local radio station broadcast the procession's location as it travelled through the night, and Diane Janvier, Marie's aunt, posted updates and her gratitude on Facebook.

"We are overwhelmed with the love and support we have received on our journey home with Marie," she posted.

Despite the distance between communities, there's a great closeness among them.

"I feel pride. I feel joy. I feel sadness. I feel empathy. I feel all of these things right now, because look at everybody, it's midnight almost, people are out of their beds, standing out here, waiting for somebody from the north to comeback home," said Trudy Young, a resident of Buffalo Narrows, which is about 101 km southeast of La Loche.

As the procession made its way down Highway 155, through Buffalo Narrows, Amazing Grace played over an ambulance's loud speaker. Cars lined both sides of the road. Residents held candles to pay respect to one of their own.

"That's how we are," Buffalo Narrows resident Lorraine Daigneault said. "That's how we've always been. We just love each other."


A procession of vehicles makes its way through Buffalo Narrows. (Matt Kruchak/CBC)


Buffalo Narrows residents lined up along Highway 155. (Matt Kruchak/CBC)


Buffalo Narrows residents used pop bottles and cups to protect the flames of their candles. (Matt Kruchak/CBC)


Buffalo Narrows residents are praying for La Loche, which is about 101 km to the northeast.