Star blankets for Humboldt ‘sewn with love’

“I feel like it’s very healing to work on a star blanket and be able to gift it.”

Some of the 16 star blankets for families of the Humboldt, Sask., tragedy. 

A Manitoba First Nation is honoring the grieving Humboldt Broncos community with traditional star blankets.

The chief of Waywayseecappo, about 320 km northwest of Winnipeg, says the two rural communities share a hockey connection through their respective junior teams.

Map of Waywayseecappo First Nation in Manitoba

“Our goalie on the Waywayseecappo Wolverines is the brother to Xavier Labelle,” said Murray Clearsky.

“And our coach used to coach four of their players. So we kind of have close ties with them.”

Clearsky says his band council ordered a blanket for each family affected by the April 6 bus crash that claimed 16 lives.

Labelle was injured but survived.

The Winnipeg woman who made 13 of the blankets says they were “sewn with love.”

“I had also lost a son so I knew what they were feeling,” said Crystal Demerais from her home-based business called Kings and Queens for the sizes of blankets she sews.

“I feel like it’s very healing to work on a star blanket and be able to gift it.”

Clearsky says the blankets in the team’s green, black and yellow colours are “a sign of respect” and used “in our Cree tradition when someone passes on to cover them. Years ago, they used to wrap (the deceased) in blankets. Now they bury the body with the blanket.”

He plans to deliver the blankets to Saskatchewan in person. Along with a gift of about $2,000 collected from his 2,800 community members.

“We are very saddened with what happened with the team. We felt that we had to do something,” he said in a telephone interview.

 

 

Investigative Reporter / Winnipeg

Award-winning reporter Kathleen Martens covers western and northern Canada for aptnnews.ca. A veteran of the Brandon Sun, Sun Media and APTN Investigates, she is based in APTN’s head office, specializing in stories about property, women’s rights and community.


28 thoughts on “Star blankets for Humboldt ‘sewn with love’

  1. These are beautiful blankets created from the hearts of those who made them for you. What an honour for all of you to receive such precious gifts.

    The Canadian community continue to pray for the cherished ones whose lives have ended, those who have been hurt emotionally and physically, and their family and friends.
    We will not forget you!

  2. These are beautiful blankets created from the hearts of those who made them for you. What an honour for all of you to receive such precious gifts.

    The Canadian community continue to pray for the cherished ones whose lives have ended, those who have been hurt emotionally and physically, and their family and friends.
    We will not forget you!

  3. these blankets are heavenly how sweeet thoughtful loving these blankets took my breath away…bless you bless you bless you ..what a gift and soo much live

  4. these blankets are heavenly how sweeet thoughtful loving these blankets took my breath away…bless you bless you bless you ..what a gift and soo much live

  5. Thank you so much for the love you are giving to the grieving family. May the Creator above bless you overflowingly for your generosity and kindness. Praying that healing will run through this blankets to all the grieving people, to our nation, and to our country.

  6. Thank you so much for the love you are giving to the grieving family. May the Creator above bless you overflowingly for your generosity and kindness. Praying that healing will run through this blankets to all the grieving people, to our nation, and to our country.

  7. These blankets are beautiful. What an amazing honor for the grieving families.

  8. What a lovely thing you have done. I’m sure the families will feel the love in those beautiful blankets.

  9. What a lovely thing you have done. I’m sure the families will feel the love in those beautiful blankets.

  10. powerful healing medicine. i felt a sense of healing from just looking at a photo of these beautiful star blankets.

  11. powerful healing medicine. i felt a sense of healing from just looking at a photo of these beautiful star blankets.

  12. A beautiful and kind jester. This blankets are stunning and I’m sure will be so appreciated because they are made with love

  13. A beautiful and kind jester. This blankets are stunning and I’m sure will be so appreciated because they are made with love

  14. This brought tears to my eyes…such generosity, hard work, beauty and meaning in these blankets.

  15. May the Creator bless you for your kindness and thoughtfulness towards these grieving people.

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