The Timmins Police Service hosted the annual lighting of the Tree of Hope at a ceremony on the evening of Sunday, November 12th.
Below are photos taken during daylight hours to show the newly unveiled sign and red ribbons that adorn the tree.
The red ribbons symbolize individual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)
This recent ceremony was well attended and marked the third year for the Timmins Police Service to take part in this culturally significant event.
The project was originally started in Thunder Bay by Const Sharlene Bourdeau of the Thunder Bay Police Service.
This year, the Timmins Police – Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) chose to unveil a sign that will be permanently displayed to explain the tree as well as acknowledge the project creator, Cst Bourdeau.
The ceremony included a Sacred Fire, which was lit and maintained by Mushkegowuk Fire Keeper outreach workers.
Many community members were in attendance including TPS platoon officers, along with Chief Foy and Deputy Chief Dacosta, along with officers from NAPS and the OPP
Opening remarks and prayers were offered by Lorraine Naveau and James Pasquach respectively.
Ceremonial speakers who addressed the crowd included Mattagami First Nation Chief Jennifer Constant, Mushkegowuk Council Deputy Grand Chief for the South Natasha Martin, TPS Chief Dan Foy,
TPS Board chair Kraymr Grenke, and community members Charlie Kioke and Faye Naveau
Drumming and inspirational songs were sung by Zhoonia Wagoosh Kwe (Silver Fox Women), one of whom is a young person, Ella
Closing remarks were undertaken by TPS – IAC Chair – Mary Boyden
The overriding theme and common message that was discussed at the ceremony was the need to end violence against Indigenous women and girls and all women.
The need to continue to take steps like this to work towards building positive relationships between Indigenous People and Police cannot be underestimated.
The need for kindness and respect was highlighted in terms of how open mindedness can contribute to making Timmins a safer city.