Tonight I had the privilege of walking with the Bear Clan Patrol in Winnipeg’s North End. According to their Facebook page “today’s resurgence of the Bear Clan Patrol is in response to our communities need to protect its young women and children”, they patrol the Dufferin and William Whyte Neighbourhoods from Wednesday to Sunday from 6 to 9pm. They meet at Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre 472 Selkirk Avenue most nights and we are honoured to visit with them on Fridays at Meet Me at the Bell Tower as well.
Even though the Bear Clan has been back since 2015, tonight was my first time walking with the patrol. Since their inception they have inspired several other patrols in North Point Douglas, Regina, SK and Kenora, ON! We met at 6pm at NYRC in the culture room where waivers needed to be signed. We then split into 3 teams (there were 14 volunteers this night) and proceeded to comb the streets from Bell Tower to Main Street to Arlington and back to Selkirk & Powers all in 3 hours, helping citizens, providing snacks to children, searching for and retrieving needles, assisting homeless individuals and people in distress. The Bear Clan does not arrest people, or go into people’s homes but they do provide a positive presence on the streets and have a fantastic relationship with the residents in the neighbourhood. Our North End looked amazing tonight. The Bear Clan are volunteers who deserve all of our support and I encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to do so – especially North Enders (Contact them via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org). The most amazing thing about the patrol is that majority of the Bear Clan members tonight lived in the neighbourhood and had stories, met friends and family along the way and greeted neighbours. My hat is off to the volunteers who walk on a regular basis – they are heartbeat of the patrol. I will be back again Bear Clan, kinanaskomitin for the positive presence you continue to have in our communities.
More details about Winnipeg’s Bear Clan:
The goals of the Patrol can be stated as being the restoration and maintenance of harmony within the community by promoting and providing safety, conflict resolution, mobile witnessing and crime prevention, maintaining a visible presence on the streets, providing an early response to situations, as well as providing rides, escorts and referrals. The Bear Clan does not arrest people, it does not go into people’s homes unless invited, or otherwise take action that is more appropriately the responsibility of the police.