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A significant number of Indigenous and Metis groups were represented last night at the inaugural lighting of the “Tree of Hope”.

The tree has over 2000 red lights to represent the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

Local dignitaries, elders of the Indigenous community and the Timmins Police officers were on hand to lend support and take part in this local ceremony to acknowledge the plight of MMIWG.

This local event that was part of a number of concurrent ceremonies occurring in Thunder Bay, Barrie, and Sudbury.

The ceremonial fire was being tended to by local Indigenous volunteers while elders and local Indigenous women recited stories, prayers and their own personal accounts of how MMIWG has impacted their lives.

The overall theme was one of forgiveness, awareness and understanding.

The Timmins Police Service pledged its continuous investigative efforts in regards to all reports of missing persons in a culturally sensitive manner and working in conjunction with the Timmins Native Friendship Center and a host of other local Indigenous groups nd organizations.

The ceremonial tree was lit at 7:00 p.m. and will remain lit throughout the holiday season as an expression of goodwill.

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