A well-known Edmonton HIV support and outreach worker has been identified as the victim of a murder in Whitecourt on Saturday morning.

Whitecourt RCMP have confirmed that 49-year-old Dolan Badger was killed on January 12.

Staff Sgt. Rodney Koscielny said officers were called to a disturbance at a residence around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, after someone within the residence was heard “yelling and screaming.”

Officers located a badly injured man who was taken to the hospital in Whitecourt by emergency services where he was pronounced dead.

Koscielny said 22-year-old William Kootenay of Morinville was arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with one count of second degree murder.

While early media reports said Badger was the victim of gaybashing, RCMP said that was not the case.

“No, it was not a hate crime,” Koscielny said. “Mr. Kootenay and Mr. Badger knew each other.”

The cause of death is not known at this time, say RCMP.

In a 2009 article published in Vue Weekly, Badger wrote about being two-spirited and said it was difficult growing up as both gay and aboriginial.

“I felt that I had to stay away from the two aspects of my life that defined me because I was constantly bombarded with slurs, racist insults and derogatory remarks,” he wrote.

“Today, largely because of my work with Healing Our Spirit and my discovery of the term, I now stand proud as a Two-spirit person and as an aboriginal, and no longer do I need to blend into the background.”

More to come…

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