Bear Clan Patrol Inc. Severs Ties to Thunder Bay Chapter


James Favel – Bear Clan Patrol Inc. Executive Director Makes Hard Decision

WINNIPEG – THUNDER BAY – The head of the Bear Clan Patrol Inc. says that all ties to the Thunder Bay Chapter have been cut. James Favel says that the Bear Clan Patrol Inc. has a specific mandate and has built a solid reputation in Winnipeg.

As Executive Director of the Winnipeg-based Bear Clan Patrol Inc. James Favel says they have had to make a difficult decision with regard to the current leadership of the Thunder Bay Chapter of the organization.

“The Bear Clan Patrol was first formed in Winnipeg’s North End in 1992. After several years the volunteer safety group went on hiatus. We reconvened in September 2014, the Walks started in 2015,” stated James Favel. “Winnipeg has the largest urban indigenous population in North America and fifth largest in the world with roughly 95,000 members and growing rapidly. Bear Clan Patrol Inc has more than 1500 Winnipeg based volunteers and they serve more than 45 communities nationwide”.

The Bear Clan Patrol Inc. is a community-based solution to crime prevention, providing a sense of safety, mental wellness and belonging to both its members and to the communities they serve. “This is achieved in a non-violent, non-threatening, non-judgmental and supportive manner primarily through relationship building and reconciliation.

“The Patrol demonstrates a way of being that works in harmony with the broader community rather than in conflict with it and in a relationship that encourages rather than seeking to defeat leadership as it emerges at a local level.”

James Favel helped to re-introduced the Bear Clan Patrol to Winnipeg after Tina Fontaine’s death.

James Favel re-introduced the Bear Clan Patrol to Winnipeg after Tina Fountaine's death
James Favel re-introduced the Bear Clan Patrol to Winnipeg after Tina Fountaine’s death

James Favel, the Executive Director of the Winnipeg, Manitoba based Bear Clan Patrol Inc. states that there have been repeated efforts to try to encourage the leadership of the Thunder Bay Chapter to get behind the mandate of the organization.

That mandate is to: protect and Empower the women, children elderly and vulnerable members of the community. The intent is not to replace police, but to reduce the need for their services. We build relationships and educate the public within an Indigenous-based clan system.”

“Our platform is never to be used to attack or harass, or incite,” James Favel tells NetNewsLedger. He says that growth and success have come by working in partnership and unity in the community.

Last November on a cold winter night, Governor General Julie Payette and Manitoba Grand Chief Dumas joined the night’s patrol in Winnipeg’s North End. Nightly Patrol Crew

Nightly Patrol Crew - Photo courtesy of Bear Clan Patrol Inc.
Nightly Patrol Crew – Photo courtesy of Bear Clan Patrol Inc.

The decision to sever ties to the Thunder Bay group is not easy for Bear Clan Patrol Inc. The group trained the Thunder Bay Bear Clan’s earlier configuration which was under Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and did not recognize this current chapter now in charge. James Favel states that there are already efforts underway for another Bear Clan Patrol Chapter to start up in Thunder Bay.

The Co-Founder says that the direction taken of the current group is their choice to take, but that it can not be done under the umbrella or mandate of the Winnipeg based group. Bear Clan Patrol Inc is a legally registered entity and the group’s logo is trademarked.

(Interview and video editing by Amanda Perreault. Article and Editing by Amanda Perreault and James Murray. © all rights reserved.)

Updated: NetNewsLedger spoke with James Favel on February 12, 2019. In that interview, there is an explanation of what Bear Clan means.

Thunder Bay, On – UPDATE- We had the honour to interview James Favel, the Co-Founder of Bear Clan Patrol Incorporated. NetNewsLedger first had the opportunity to interview Mr. Favel in May 2016.

NetNewsLedger attempted to contact the leader of the Thunder Bay group for comment on this report but were unable to do so.

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