POLITICS

Hundreds attend memorial for 11-year-old girl slain on northern Manitoba reserve

05/25/2015 11:13 EDT | Updated 05/25/2016 05:59 EDT
WINNIPEG - More than 200 mourners have attended a memorial service in Winnipeg for an 11-year-old girl whose partial remains were found on a northern Manitoba reserve.

At first officials on the Garden Hill First Nation thought Teresa Robinson had been the victim of a bear attack, but RCMP later determined her death was a homicide.

No arrests have yet been made and band officials have shut down classes at schools in the community, which is 500 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

Teresa was last seen leaving a birthday party on May 5, six days before she was reported missing to the RCMP.

On Monday evening, the Calgary Temple in Winnipeg was filled with gospel music and prayer as friends, relatives and aboriginal leaders remembered the young girl.

Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, offered words of encouragement to her family.

"To the family, remember Teresa," he said. "Even though she was young, so young, she'll have touched your hearts, your minds, your spirit, your soul. Think of her. She'll make you smile."

Relatives at the memorial service lined the stage and expressed thanks for the help, support and prayers they have received.

A funeral for the girl will be held in Garden Hill on Thursday.

Community representatives say it was important to hold the memorial in Winnipeg because there are members of the First Nation who can't attend the funeral because of medical conditions.

"The Garden Hill First Nation, as a whole, is handling the tragedy very well," said councillor Larry Monias. "People are pulling together, they're supporting one another, they're supporting the family at their home and in the community."

(CTV Winnipeg, Global Winnipeg)