November 26th, 2020

Spirit Ride planned for Saturday


By Jensen, Randy on October 23, 2020.

Ride to bring awareness about justice for

Darby Soop (Shade)

LETHBRIDGE HERALD – STANDOFF

A Spirit Ride to bring awareness about the injustices surrounding the case of Darby Soop (Shade), who was stabbed to death on Jan.16, 2018 in Calgary, will be held on Saturday.

Soop (Shade), a Blood Tribe member, was stabbed to death in the parking lot of a Calgary mall in 2018. The accused killers, Christian Whitebear and Matthew Crane-Watchmaker, were charged with second-degree murder. Later, the two men pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Whitebear was sentenced to the equivalent of a three-year prison term. With credit for time served Whitebear was released shortly after his sentencing. Crane-Watchmaker will be sentenced today in Calgary.

Simone Soop, Darby’s mother, has been very vocal about the injustices in how the courts handled her son’s case.

“I have no more faith in the justice system,” she told a Calgary reporter.

The Spirit Ride will start in Standoff at 8 a.m. at the Kainai Rodeo Rodeo grounds where a ceremony based on the Sioux Lakota cultural traditions will be held prior to the commencement of the ride.

Elder Keith Chief Moon will be assisted by war veteran Kenny Fox in the ceremony including members of the Sioux Sundance society. They will pray and smudge the riders and horses for a successful journey and for a favourable outcome on the Soop court case.

Each horse will be painted with ochre and a horse song will be sung by a group of drummers. It’s expected 20 riders will travel on horseback from the Kainai Rodeo grounds onto Highway 2 and will use the ditches instead of the highway.

The riders will stop at the junction of Highway 2 and 505. The group will rest their horses and take a break while new horse riders will join the contingent.

Following the break, the Spirit Ride will continue the journey along the ditches until the next stop at the St. Paul’s turnoff. It is expected that a group of walkers will join the group for the last leg of the journey to the Cardston court house.

Following speeches at the court house by Simone Soop and Darby Soop’s (Shade) uncle, Leon (Beetle) Soop, the Spirit Ride will end with a feast.

The Spirit Ride is being organized by Simone Soop and Leon (Beetle) Soop with the assistance of the Kainai Wellness Centre.

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