Born in November and gone by February.
The sudden death of Wilder Lee in Kahnawake has left the community in mourning for the past week. Three-month-old baby Wilder was found by his mother, lifeless, on February 26. Following the tragedy, two days later, Kahnawa’kehró:non Brittany Lahache launched an Auction for Baby Wilder, to help out with the funeral and other expenses related to the shocking death. Lahache has been close with the family for years and didn’t want Wilder’s mother Lianne to worry about a thing.
“After I got the phone call about what happened, I went to my son and just held him and cried,” said Lahache, who has a young son. “I wanted to do something that would help take any extra stress off.”
The Facebook page collected donations for items to be auctioned from Friday, March 5 (today) to Saturday, March 6. The auction will be closed on Monday, March 8, at 6 p.m. From gift cards from various places around the community such as the Keg Steakhouse or Village Variety, to homemade clothing items, many people answered the call for help.
“The community has been absolutely amazing,” said Lahache. “I received tons of messages for donations, people sending their condolences, and just asking if it was okay to share the Facebook group.”
Kahnawake First Nation Nutrition, a healthy juice bar, joined in and will be donating one dollar from each drink sold at their store during those dates. Fresh Donations, a company that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables in the community, will also be donating five percent of all sales to Wilder’s mother. Lahache explained that the extra money raised would go toward paying the mother’s rent while she’s looking for another apartment in Chateauguay for her and her twin daughters.
“She doesn’t want to go back to where everything happened, and I don’t blame her,” said Lahache.
A friend of the family, Timmy Montour, has known the mother for the past seven years. He said that she has been overwhelmed to see the community coming together.
“I told her, you know how Kahnawake is, they will help,” said Montour. “Because there’s nothing else we can do, we can’t bring her baby back, we can’t console her, but at least if she has no worries… “He was a beautiful boy,” he said.
Mohawk Council of Kahnawake chief Ross Montour also knew the community was going to respond to a loss like this. Over the years, Montour has seen the community member’s kindness during dark days and believes he will see it again.
“It’s an incredible burden, even if you have the means, it’s still crushing,” said Montour. “I would like to be a part of removing that burden that the mother is already carrying.”
Montour added that he would encourage everyone to open their heart and take part in this initiative in any way they can. The auction is taking place this weekend on the Auction for Baby Wilder Facebook page.
Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door