A northwest Manitoba First Nation’s showing its support for the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.
The Waywayseecappo band council ordered 16 traditional star blankets for each family affected by the crash.
Thirteen of the blankets have been made by Crystal Demerais, owner of a Winnipeg-based business called Kings and Queens. She said it took just over two weeks to sew them all.
“Someone had posted on Facebook, saying ‘I’m looking for some star blankets,’ and then someone had tagged me and my business. I just took the order not even thinking that it would be this significant,” she explained, adding she didn’t know at the time the Waywayseecappo Wolverines’ goalie is a brother to Xavier Labelle — one of the Broncos who were injured in the crash.
Once Demerais started making them, she said her own healing process began.
“I had also lost a son, so — as soon as I had heard the news that there were so many families affected — it just broke my heart. It was just so sad to hear about it.”
In Indigenous culture, Demerais said a star blanket is a symbol of care and respect in times of great change.
Along with the star blankets, the reserve has also gifted the families affected around $2,000 collected by its community members.
The Waywayseecappo First Nation is located about 32 kilometres east of Russell, Man.
— With files from the CJME Morning Show