Crosses in memory of Morris Cardinal and Jacob Sansom were left at the site they were killed on Saturday after a small vigil.
A small vigil remembering the lives of Morris (Maurice) Cardinal and his nephew Jacob Sansom was held on Saturday at the site they died.
Roughly three dozen family members and friends gathered to pay their respects and remember the lives that were abruptly lost, while many wore “Justice for Jacob and Morris” t-shirts.
Performances of traditional songs and a smudge ceremony made up the vigil, along with a few words spoken from some of their close friends.
Bruce Gladue works for the Metis Nation of Alberta as the director of rights and accommodation and is originally from the Lakeland.
He has been chosen to speak as an advocate on behalf of the victim’s family and said Saturday’s vigil is part of the grieving process.
“I think in terms of for the family, it’s a grieving process. You gotta feel for them, especially the young lady, Jacob’s wife, who’s not even able to be here because she’s just so shattered,” said Gladue.
“So having this ceremony with the people that are able to gather right now, I think that provides them a bit of comfort, but also provides them a little bit more security because they see all these families come out to help and they’re also starting to see that surrounding of support and love from the [Metis] Nation.”
Cardinal and Sansom, 57 and 39, respectively, died in late March north of Glendon and the autopsy report deemed their deaths homicides.
As avid hunters and fishermen, who had strong ties to the Lakeland area, the pair went hunting for moose on the day they were killed, shortly after Sansom was laid off from his job.
“We want to make sure that our hunters or fishers are able to exercise that right without fear of this,” said Gladue.
“Our president Audrey Poitras, when this first came out, put out a news release stating that they have our full support and whatever we could do for the family we’re going to try to do, and that includes being here with our volunteers, as well as attending courts with them as well.
“What you heard here today in terms of the reconciliation from the speakers about forgiveness and a prayer, I think that was the really good piece of this. That aside, I think you have to understand there’s people that have been affected, families that have been affected, on both sides.”
Anthony Bilodeau turned himself into police and Bonnyville RCMP charged him with two counts of second-degree murder days after the shooting.
The matter will return to St. Paul Provincial Court on June 18th to set a date for a preliminary inquiry.