Manitoba providing money for memorial to honour Carman homicide victims

The provincial government is providing funding to the Town of Carman to honour the five people who were killed in February, and to help those who helped the town heal.

Amanda Clearwater, her three kids, Bethany, Jayven and Isabella, and her niece Myah-Lee Gratton, were killed in mid-February, and Clearwater’s common-law partner Ryan Manoakeesick has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Those charges haven’t been tested in court.

On Wednesday, the Manitoba government announced it will provide $20,000 to help the community build a memorial in honour of the victims, and another $300,000 will go to Carman Wellness Connections.

The volunteer-run organization provides mental health supports, and helps, “find solutions that minimize the impact of limited income.”

“The front-line staff of Carman Wellness Connections reacted swiftly and compassionately to bring healing to the community by providing resources and emotional health support. Our government is proud to support the important work they do,” said Premier Wab Kinew in a news release.

Nancy Clearwater, Amanda’s mother, said she is still in shock about the whole situation, but appreciates the government’s funding.

“It will help memorialize my (grandchildren) and my daughter, and hopefully bring awareness to domestic violence,” she said a news conference Wednesday.

Karen Tjaden, a board member for the organization, said the funding provides stability for them to continue their work.

“With this funding, we can enhance our programs, expand our reach and make a lasting difference in the community,” said Tjaden in a news release.

Carman Mayor Brent Owen said the financial support would help the community for many years.

“Almost three months later, I know many are still feeling the impacts of it during this time. Many of us have found hope in watching our community come together and support each other,” said Owen.

The Clearwater family will help design the memorial, with the hopes it will be put in a community park. There is no timeline for when it will be built, but Owen indicated the town will likely contribute more funding to the project as well.

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