Battleford residents and surrounding First Nations will be able to remember loved ones during a vigil service this Sunday. Activity coordinator for Kanaweyimik Child and Family Services Diane Pooyak says Christmas time can be tough for those who have lost loved ones.

“During the holidays when you’ve lost a loved one you’re sad and you don’t feel like celebrating, it hurts so much, because when you lose a loved one there is almost like a missing link in your life.”

Pooyak is also the organizer of the event and a grief counsellor, she says the vigil looks to help those grieving with an avenue to release.

“It’s hard, I lost my mom over 23 years ago and it’s still hard when we have holidays but it kind of helps heal and move on, “Pooyak adds that grieving can cause problems at home. “It could lead to depression, anger, your family might feel like you’re leaving them out because you’re grieving too much.”

The vigil service will include music with gospel songs, hymns, and a hand-drum song. People will be able to write the names of their lost loved ones on a balloon that will be released during an outdoor ceremony. The Child and Family Services have done the event previously in indigenous communities they service, this will be the first time in North Battleford. Pooyak says they’re attempting to bridge the gap between the First Nations communities and the non-First Nations communities.

“Everybody grieves, it doesn’t matter what race or colour you are.”

The memorial vigil will take place at the Don Ross Centre in Room 107 in North Battleford on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.