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Tree of Hope Project began with an idea. How can our small town of Thunder Bay, ON, help change the appalling statistics around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada? How could we make a positive impact on the lives of affected families and survivors? How can we reconcile using recommendations from the MMIWG Final Report?
As a central location in Canada, Thunder Bay, ON, we believe it was time to take action regarding 1200 to 5000 unsolved cases regarding MMIWG in Canada. When the idea of this project was brought forward by Police Constable Sharlene Bourdeau, at the general meeting of the Thunder Bay Police Association, the project was met with overwhelming support from all angles. Following this, we created a diverse committee of individuals who shared the common goal of solving these cases regarding MMIWG. We approached Canadian Tire, with the idea of this campaign in mind, who was forthcoming in donating light bulbs which will be placed on the four trees in front of the Thunder Bay Police Service. Each lit bulb is symbolic of the life of one of many MMIWG in Canada. We’ve chosen to display Cedar trees as they are a symbol of prayer, healing, and protection in Indigenous beliefs. Tree of Hope Project hopes to offer closure and support for grieving families of MMIWG. In order to succeed, we need your help.
Every donation makes a positive impact. We’ve partnered with Thunder Bay District Crime Stoppers to receive tips and information which will lead to the arrest of individuals involved in these crimes. Donations to the Tree of Hope Project will be controlled by myself, Constable Sharlene Bourdeau, founder of Tree of Hope Project. The donations from the campaign will be withdrawn into a personal RBC account which is connected to CrimeStoppers. After receiving information or tips from the public about MMIWG, the money will be electronically/securely withdrawn into the CrimeStoppers Tip Management account. Individuals who provide information that leads to arrests will receive a high profile payout of $50,000 ($2000 CrimeStoppers + $48,000 Tree of Hope Project). The individuals can receive their payout by getting authorization via CrimeStoppers to withdraw the $50,000
from any RBC bank across Canada while remaining totally anonymous.