NEWS
08/19/2014 09:33 EDT | Updated 10/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Fontaine, Hall vigil being held at Winnipeg's Alexander Docks

Leaders in Winnipeg's aboriginal community hope people from across the city join them to honour the lives of Tina Fontaine and Faron Hall.

Fontaine, 15, was reported missing more than a week ago. Her body was recovered Sunday from the Red River near the Alexander Docks off Waterfront Drive. Police said her body was wrapped in a bag and are treating the death as a homicide.

Family members of Hall have confirmed his body was recovered from the Red River Sunday near Kildonan Park. He had earned the nickname of Winnipeg's "Homeless Hero" after saving people from drowning in the Red River on two occasions.

Hall remembered

Mayor Sam Katz called Hall a selfless hero who deserved honour and a good life. He taught people appearances can be deceiving and those with the least to give often give the most, Katz said.

The entire city of Winnipeg mourns his loss, said the mayor.

Hall's friend Marion Willis recalled him as a troubled man who battled alcohol addiction .

"The sad piece for me about Faron is that he had so much potential," said Willis. "He really could have done so much good – he did do a lot of good. He could have done so much better."

Niigaan Sinclair, an aboriginal studies professor at the University of Manitoba, said leaders quickly got together Monday night and decided something had to be done.

"It's very easy, but it's so endemic of a 150 year violent and abusive relationship that forms much of the basis of this country," said Sinclair. "If we begin to see Faron and Tina as human beings, as daughters for all of us, as brothers for all of us, we can begin to change, we can begin to see that the North End is as much our community as the south end," said Sinclair.

Sinclair said the way to help solve the issues that lead to the deaths of Fontaine and Hall is as simple as viewing people as people.

"It's as simple as forming relationships with your neighbour, it's so simple," said Sinclair. "It's forming relationships with places that you might be taught to be scared of. It's forming relationships with ideas and values and cultures."

Renewed calls for national inquiry

Tina Fontaine's death drawing renewed calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.​

Fontaine was in the care of Manitoba's Child and Family Services (CFS) but disappeared on Aug. 9.

Nahanni Fontaine, a special adviser on aboriginal women's issues with the province, said the teen's death is one in a long line of examples warranting a national inquiry.

"Here's an example, a prime example of why a national inquiry is much needed so we're not continuously sitting here, next year or a couple of years after that, having these same interviews," said Nahanni Fontaine, who isn't related to the victim.

"Of course you're angry when a 15-year-old girl isn't safe," she said. "I think it's a normal response to such senseless and savage violence that's perpetrated against aboriginal women and girls."

The vigil starts at 7 p.m. at the Alexander Docks off Waterfront Drive.

MORE:cbcNews