Memorial grew up in Whitewood, Saskatchewan. outdoor rink to remember the local hockey player

A grade 12 student from Ochapowace First Nation is remembered for his life. A memorial was erected for Carter Bear on an outdoor rink in Whitewood, Saskatchewan, a town near his home community.

“Every time anyone saw him he had a smile on his face,” said Bear’s best friend Dannicka Kequahtooway. “He would make anyone’s day just by being himself.”

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Bear was skating outdoors on an ice rink in nearby Moosomin, on Sunday, December 19, when he collapsed. His best friend confirms that this is where he died.

It is not known at this time what caused his death, but what is on people’s minds is the life he lived and the dreams he had.

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Kequahtooway said that she and Bear knew all about each other and spent time dreaming about what their future would look like.

“A week ago we were actually talking about moving to Saskatoon after we graduated and went to school,” she said. “He always planned the kind of house he wanted to live in [with] lots of windows.

His family, friends and others remember his hard work throughout the community. Even though he was in his final year of high school, Bear held two jobs in addition to playing hockey for the U18 Whitewood Jets.

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“That was when he was happiest, that’s when he was skating,” she said. “Last year… I couldn’t skate, so he was pulling me on his hockey stick.

Community members and friends added flowers, candles and two hockey sticks to the outdoor Bear Memorial.

Kequahtooway says she will miss her best friend’s smile the most – something she will never see again but will remember through her precious memories.

“Anyone can tell her smile was so infectious,” she said. “I’ve always been jealous of his straight teeth because they were so perfect.”

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Bear is survived by his family in Ochapowace First Nation, his hockey teammates in Whitewood, his friends at school and his best friend.

Whitewood is located approximately 170 kilometers east of Regina.

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Catherine J. Martinez