The family of an Ontario teacher killed in Saskatchewan's tragic school shooting Friday is hoping to bring the young man's body home to Uxbridge, with the help of an online fundraiser.
Adam Wood was one of four people killed in a shooting rampage that injured seven others in La Loche, Sask. on Friday.
A 17-year-old, who can't be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of attempted murder and one count unauthorized possession of a firearm.
Friends of Wood's family have started a GoGetFunding page, titled "In memory of Adam Wood," to help the family with travel and funeral expenses to bring Wood's body back to Ontario.
The fundraiser, which has a goal of $25,000, had raised over $7,500 as of Monday afternoon.
"He was always up for a good challenge and lived each day joyously."
Wood had just moved from Uxbridge, Ont. to the small community in northern Saskatchewan in September, in order to begin his teaching career.
His long-time girlfriend was finishing a PhD in the province, and he wanted to move to Saskatchewan to support her, Wood's former boss told the Globe and Mail.
Wood's family wrote in a statement that he was an adventurer with a passion for life, who often made people laugh until their stomachs hurt.
He was certainly an adventurer. From 2013 to 2014, Wood spent a year living in a canvas tent documenting his adventures in sustainable living on his blog, "The Northern Pioneer."
In one of his final posts on the blog, he shared an excerpt from a poem by one of his favourite authors, Wendell Berry, titled "Closing the Circle."
Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy. The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.
Only music keeps us here"
— Wendell Berry
Family asks Canada to use tragedy to fuel change
Wood's family took the fundraiser as an opportunity to release a statement, saying they hoped the tragedy would lead to opportunity for creating "lasting systemic change."
The statement, posted on the fundraiser page asks for Canadians to take the time to listen to the community of La Loche, and hear the kind of support and change the community members need.
"We find ourselves in moments of despair thinking, 'Why did it have to be Adam?' But really, the question is, 'Why did this have to happen?'" writes Wood's family in the statement.
La Loche is a small, primarily Dene First Nations community, with a suicide rate three times Saskatchewan's average.
Residents of La Loche, Sask., say a prayer in front of a makeshift memorial at La Loche Community School.(Photo: Jason Franson/CP)
“It’s certainly one of the worst communities for having nothing for youth. I was just talking to the chief and council there last night. We really have to take some dramatic means,” Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations told the New York Times Saturday.
"It is in these moments, when tragedy strikes, that we are able to stop and consider life: it’s frailty, challenges, its laughter, and its tears," reads the statement from Wood's family .
"It is in these moments we are given the opportunity to examine ourselves and hopefully, come out better and stronger as a community and a nation. We feel sadness and remorse but rarely do we use that to fuel change."
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