” But to let him die. In front of a restaurant in Dawson Creek? I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to let his memory lie there. I’m going to pick it up like a dropped feather. I’m going to sing songs, and I’m going to pray and I’m going to smudge everyone that’s there. That’s my job. To remember my cousin in a good way. Not as a mask, but as a loved human being. I loved him, he loved me. He loved his environment, and I’m going to protect it with him.”
~Keith D LaRiviere
As a writer I’ve spoken with thousands of people over the years of this blog and I remember each of them well, but there are stories that leave a mark so indelible it can’t be erased.
It was in the evening of July 2015 when I heard from a longtime friend who used to live in Prince George but had moved to the Peace River region. I hadn’t heard from him in years but he told me a man had been shot at the Site C meeting and that he knew I had been following the project and there was video of it.
He didn’t get into any details but soon enough I saw the video. And it was pretty traumatizing to see someones life blood leave them so quickly,even a total stranger – I wasn’t prepared for that. I cover politics,not crime scenes.The media soon had a copy and most blocked out the terrible detail and rightly so. That night I lay awake a long time,trying to forget what I had seen and of course you can’t, but in this business you learn how to ‘put it in a box on the shelf’ for unpacking later on, so to speak.
Details were scarce to come on the man who had died that day, and it wasn’t until months later that a story came out alleging that police had ‘shot the wrong man’. Other than a comment here or there, nothing much has been heard since while the IIO investigation continues.There was a lot of focus on his mask and any links to Anonymous, but I had always been more curious about the actual person behind the mask who died.
Nothing until today, when in response to a tweeted link to the compelling and hauntingly beautiful DeSmog video posted yesterday, an account by the name of BuffaloHairJr responded with a simple smile. I looked at the account, and it belongs to a first cousin of the man who was shot, who posted a video interview he had just done.
I watched it-it’s poignant.So this isn’t so much about the event as it is simply about the thoughts of someone who loved him and who wants people to know his cousin was much more than the mask that everyone saw. He asked if I would share this and I said I would. Walk in peace. May your feather float far…