Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
'She was the light of our lives': Hodan Hashi's memory honoured at Saskatoon vigil

The Star Phoenix
Thia James
Monday November 21, 2022

A supporter walks through the crowd at Hodan Hashi's vigil at City Hall on Nov. 19, 2022. PHOTO BY LIAM O'CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
© Provided by Star Phoenix

Hodan Hashi dreamt of becoming an early childhood educator and returned to Saskatoon to attend Saskatchewan Polytechnic to make it come true. But her life was cut short in a violent homicide two weekends ago at the age of 23.

Supporters gathered in City Hall Square in Saskatoon on Saturday afternoon to remember and honour Hashi’s life at a vigil, where some attendees carried signs with a similar message: Justice for Hodan Hashi. Vigils were also held in Regina, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa.

Hashi died following an altercation in the early morning hours of Nov. 5 at Lit Nightclub in Saskatoon’s downtown, which shares the same building and ownership as the Crazy Cactus. Videos of a violent altercation have been shared over social media since then. A 22-year-old woman, Paige Theriault-Fisher, is charged with manslaughter and was released on $5,000 cash bail. Police had initially announced she would face a second-degree murder charge.

Ali Abukar, who spoke on behalf of organizers, shared a statement provided by Hashi’s family, who said they were reeling.

“She was the light of our lives, whose laughter, kind heart and gentle soul will be deeply missed. She was taken far too soon,” her family said.

They described her as a vibrant woman who had her life ahead of her and said they’ve found peace knowing that people are rallying around them.

They vowed to fight for accountability, transparency and justice from Saskatoon police and the legal system.

Ali Abukar speaks to media members at the vigil for Hodan Hashi at City Hall on Nov. 19, 2022. PHOTO BY LIAM O’CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
© LIAM O'CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPh

Abukar told reporters Hashi was a member of the Somali-Canadian community, born in Ottawa. Her family had spent time in Saskatoon before moving back to Ottawa. He said Hashi wanted to become an ECE working with children with learning disabilities. She had also helped newcomers.

“That was important, how she saw life and how she wanted life to be inclusive, and she also was a kind person, friendly,” he said.

Hashi’s death deeply affected the Somali-Canadian community, Abukar added.

“As someone from the Somali, Black Muslim community, we live in a time where Black lives and Muslim lives are not honoured the way they should be honoured, and we feel that as a community, we want to be able to live our lives in a safe and inclusive way,” he said.

Abukar said the family and community didn’t receive the space they needed to grieve due to the way Hashi’s death happened and was shared online.

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said acts like this can have a ripple effect throughout the community, especially in racialized communities.

 “We need to make sure that we keep building processes and justice and investigative processes to make sure everybody feels that they’re served and protected equally in our community,” he said.

Delilah Kamuhanda with Black Lives Matter YXE speaks into a megaphone at the vigil of Hodan Hashi on Nov. 19, 2022. PHOTO BY LIAM O’CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
© LIAM O'CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPh

Delilah Kamuhanda, with Black Lives Matter YXE, recalled that two years ago, after the murder of George Floyd, people gathered in Saskatoon to call for justice. But she said it’s been two years of listening and learning and that’s not enough.

“We can’t just say Black Lives Matter, that’s the minimum. We have to act like Black Lives Matter, we have to act like Black women are deserving of protection and life. We have to act like each other, in our community is deserving of respect and justice. Words are not enough. Promises are not enough. Accountability and action are how we move forward from these things,” she said.

Halima Hussein speaks to everyone gathered at the vigil of Hodan Hashi on Nov. 19, 2022. PHOTO BY LIAM O’CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
© LIAM O'CONNOR / Saskatoon StarPh

Halima Hussein has a daughter and never wants what happened to Hashi to happen to her. She asked those gathered to imagine what Hashi’s parents, friends and sisters are going through.

“The most painful thing is that the Black body has been dehumanized in a way that we watch and use that as entertainment. It’s not entertainment,” she said.

“And now it’s in our city. We will not allow that to happen ever again.”



Click here