Thursday, September 18, 2014
Text Size

Tears, prayers, memories at fallen hero's wake

By: Oliver Sachgau

Winnipeg Free Press

AFTER an all-night wake Tuesday, Winnipeg's Homeless Hero will receive his final farewell at Thunderbird House this morning.


Faron Hall's body was discovered in the Red River Aug. 17. A few days earlier, he had been seen struggling in the river, but could not be saved. Hall became well-known in the city after jumping into the same river in 2009 and saving two people on separate occasions.

utside of Thunderbird House Tuesday, a fire was lit around 5 p.m. It will burn until Hall's funeral there at 11 a.m. this morning.

About 50 people, most of them Hall's relatives from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, were at the wake. A cloth-draped casket stood at the front, along with baskets of items Hall liked, off to the side. As the ceremony started, people brought food forward to share with Hall and other relatives. Several people stood in front of the seated crowd and shared their memories of Hall.

One man, who said he had been homeless and spent a lot of time with Hall, told the crowd Hall's death was one of the few events in his life to make him cry. The man described Hall as a selfless person, despite the challenges he faced.

"This life we had was hard. But (Hall would) pull you through. He'd give you the shirt off his back," he said.

Around 7 p.m., Hall's cousin, Harold Blacksmith, led a group of singers in offering up a prayer. He encouraged those in the crowd to add their own prayers, regardless of their beliefs.

In an interview, Blacksmith said Hall was deeply impacted by his father's death, shortly before his own. Blacksmith said Hall's family believes he gave up the will to live after his dad died.

Blacksmith said he didn't like Hall being referred to as homeless, pointing to the grass underneath him.

"This is our home. Mother Earth is our home... We the Dakota people are never homeless," he said.

While police were looking for Hall in the river, they discovered the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine.

Blacksmith said he credited Hall for her discovery.

"I think it was his last act of goodwill," he said.

Hall's cousin, Loretta Swaine, from Sioux Valley, said she had known Hall since he was a baby.

"We used to carry him around. He was a fat baby. But always smiling," she said at the wake.

Swaine said Hall never liked the attention he received after the rescues.

" 'I want to stay away from the media,' he used to say," Swaine said.

Hall's uncle, Patrick Hall, said his nephew's death hit family members hard, many of whom are still in shock.

"He was at his father's funeral a week and a half ago... Nobody thought that's the last time they'd see him," Patrick said.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins