Red Power Media, Staff
Dozens of people gathered at a vigil in Winnipeg to remember Geraldine Beardy.
Beardy, a 29-year-old Indigenous woman, was taken off life support on Sept. 18, 2009, after being assaulted days earlier in Okay Groceries on Sherbrook Street, where she allegedly tried to steal a can of meat worth $1.49.
Beardy’s family members said they believe she was hit with a baseball bat and lapsed into a coma after being struck.
At the time, police alleged the convenience store owner confronted Beardy and assaulted her.
Owner Kwang Soo Kim, was charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dropped in 2011 after the main witness left the country.
Friday afternoon, a memorial vigil was held outside the Health Sciences Centre, six years after Beardy passed away.
Mourners passed out Klik and bannock sandwiches, drummed and prayed, then released balloons as they paid tribute to Beardy.
Great-grandmother Eliza Beardy fought back tears to share some strong words with the crowd at the event. She asked the crowd to respect each other and remember we are all human.
“Even though she had nothing in terms of material things, one of the things she loved to do is help other people who had nothing as well,” the memorial organizer Leslie Spillett said.
“When we see someone who may be hungry or may be houseless… that we open up our hearts and treat people like human beings,” Spillett said.
Friends will also host a memorial feast in Garden Hill on Saturday.