Family, friends hold vigil for teen hit by car and killed in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood

Family and friends of 16-year-old Dendrae Thunder Lonechild gathered Thursday to remember the teen.

Lonechild was hit by a vehicle and killed on 13th Avenue in Regina’s Cathedral neighbourhood in the early morning of Sunday, April 23.

Thursday’s vigil was held in that same area, with attendees honouring the young man’s life and doing a pipe ceremony.

Lorne Kequahtooway, Lonechild’s grandfather, asked those in attendance to write words to remember him by in chalk on the pavement.

A vigil for Dendrae Lonechild.
People at the vigil wrote messages on the idewalk and lit candles in Lonechild’s memory. (Louise BigEagle/CBC)

His aunt, Shana Pasapa, remembered Lonechild attending the powwow that weekend with friends.

“Dendre is a very caring boy,” she said.”If he called you family or bro, he wanted to make sure that you were looked after. And that night he wanted to make sure that his young friend made it home safely.”

16 year old Pedestrian hit by vehicle in Cathedral neighborhood early Sunday morning.
Dendrae Thunder Lonechild, 16, was from White Bear First Nation. (Submitted by Shana Pasapa)

She said he would text her and ask her to braid up his hair, something she loved to do, as it was a way for them to hang out and talk about what was going on in his life. 

She said he grew up around her own two sons his age.

“My boys were always together. They were just hyper — all three of them — running around doing things together. Guns and sticks and martial arts or ninja stuff,” she said.

Pasapa said the Cathedral neighborhood is usually very friendly, and you can see people walking around all the time, but that  sometimes vehicles can be aggressive.

A vigil was held for a teen boy killed in by a car on early Sunday morning.
Dendrae’s aunts Rebecca BigEagle, left, and Shana Pasapa, right. (Louise BigEagle/CBC)

Loved ones at the vigil shared stories did a round dance to music by a drum group from Mother Theresa Middle School.

Lonechild was a student at the Sheldon Williams Collegiate in Regina. The Indigenous advocate at the school, Jennifer Reid, and other staff attended the event.

“We all know his smile and his kindness. He was a good kid and we believed in him so much,” Reid said to the crowd.

Students from the school also came to remember Lonechild and share how they met him. They held up handmade signs and pictures to show how much he mattered to them.

Cole Fuller, 16, spoke about how he met Denny — as he called him — in the bathroom at school one day. All Fuller saw was Lonechild’s smile. Fuller and others wanted to attend the event to show their love for their friend.

“I loved Denny, he was a good friend,” said Fuller.

A vigil held for Dendrae Lonechild was held last night in the same area he was struck by a vehicle and killed.
Cole Fuller, centre, holds up a sign alongisde other friends of Dendrae’s from Sheldon Williams Collegiate in Regina. (Louise BigEagle/CBC)

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