Manitoba

'Heartwarming' and 'healing' vigil held for 3 boys killed in Nelson House, Man.

On the stretch of dirt road where three boys lost their lives Saturday night, hundreds of people gathered last night in a Manitoba community for a candlelight vigil to say goodbye.

Terrence Spence, 13, Keithan Lobster, 11 and Mattheo Moore-Spence were hit, killed by vehicle Saturday

On the stretch of dirt road where three boys lost their lives Saturday night, hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to say goodbye. 1:21

On the stretch of a Manitoba dirt road where three boys lost their lives Saturday night, hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil to say goodbye. 

Last night, they stood on a hillside along the sole access road leading into Nelson House to honour Terrence Spence, 13, Keithan Lobster and Mattheo Moore-Spence, both 11. The three young friends from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation died after being struck by a vehicle while walking and cycling down the road. 
Keithan Lobster, left, Terrence Spence, top, and Mattheo Moore-Spence, from Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, died after being struck by a vehicle while walking and cycling down a Manitoba road. (GoFundMe)

"Heartwarming. Healing. Helpful," said Arla Linklater, whose nephew Keithan was killed.

"We come together to support each other," Diane Linklater, a respected elder in the community, said earlier in the day

Many children from Nelson House gathered in front of the stage, where members of the community led songs, prayers and shared memories of their playmates.

"I'll never get to see my cousins again," one little boy said to the CBC, with tears in his eyes, before embracing his grandma. 

At the base of a hill by a teepee stood the families of the boys who died.

People travelled from surrounding communities including Thompson, The Pas and Cross Lake in a show of love and support.

"It's sad, but it's also enlightening to see the people come together and support each other," said Rose Andrews, a dental therapist who said she had worked on all three boys. 
'It's sad, but it's also enlightening to see the people come together and support each other,' said Rose Andrews at a vigil to remember the boys. (Lyza Sale/CBC)

"They were very rambunctious boys," she said with a laugh.

She said she waved to them when she saw them on their bikes, on that road, when she left the community on Friday.

"I saw love, I saw support, everybody supporting each other. I also thought of the driver. I also thought about him. And we went to the sacred fire and we prayed to the three kids that were lost and we also prayed for the driver and his family.
The three friends were killed on PR 620 along this stretch of the road, just outside Nelson House. (Cameron MacIntosh/CBC)

"Because people make a lot of mistakes ... and it affects everybody." 

Todd Norman Linklater, 27, has been charged with impaired driving. He is also a resident of the community about 660 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

At the vigil, the singers sang Eagle Song and Spirit Bear, as well as Forever Young and the Dixie Chicks' Easy Silence.

"I felt sadness, sadness, and I thought about why it's so senseless when it could have been prevented," said Andrews.
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      Several CFL players, who are in town holding a training camp, which the boys were a part of, also attended the vigil.

      Chief Marcel Moody called the families of the children up by their first names, and in a line, each child, parent and grandparent shook hands or embraced a line of sombre-faced RCMP and other first responders.

      Hundreds of others followed one by one, then embraced along the road, as several candle-lit lanterns were released into the sky.