Virden homicide investigated

Canupawakpa in mourning, powwow cancelled

A 31-year-old man from Canupawakpa Dakota First Nation south of Virden was killed at a Virden residence Saturday afternoon.

Virden RCMP received a report of a man in medical distress on July 21 at about 1:15 p.m. When officers arrived, there were several people at the scene.

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Police said the victim had injuries consistent with being in an altercation but did not elaborate on whether a weapon was used.

The victim was taken to hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The death is being treated as a homicide and is still under investigation.

Virden RCMP, the major crime unit, and RCMP Forensic Identification Services are assisting.

Another blow for Canu

Many of the victim’s family and friends learned about his death while they were attending a powwow at Sioux Valley.

In fact, Canu had been planning its own powwow to take place over the August long weekend, but that has now been cancelled.

Chief Viola Eastman said, “The whole community is grieving. We cancelled the powwow because we need time to grieve. It’s been a hard year.”

The homicide is just the latest in a string of tragedies to hit Canupawakpa. Eastman says two young women committed suicide earlier this year. Then three weeks ago, a 42-year-old resident died when his car rolled into the ditch on PTH 83.

Eastman says she has returned one of the monetary donations that were given to Canu for the powwow but will keep the donation from SITE Energy and put it towards a healing celebration to take place later this summer or fall.

“We need to dance, sing and pray the spirit back into our people,” she said.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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