To the editor:
We wish to take this opportunity to thank the families and public who came to pay their respects to the thousands of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada, on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 and be witness to our first annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.
We also want to extend our gratitude to all the guest speakers (Chief, Sylvie Hauth, Sharon Johnson, Honorable Parliament Member, Patti Hajdu, His Worship Mayor Bill Mauro, Police Service Board Chair, Celina Reitberger, President Thunder bay Police Association, Clark McKever, ONWA Executive Director Cora-Lee MCGUIRE-Cyrette, NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox, FWFN Councilor Tannis Kastern and Tree of Hope Project Youth Member (IT/Media Relations), Noah Barile, who took time out of their busy schedules and provided inspiring words.
Thank you to Police Constable Tax Milionis for standing guard during the entire ceremony and all the volunteers who stepped up and made this project a reality. We could not have done this without you.
This is the first time that a tree has been lit at our service and it was truly an astounding sight to see the bright lights once lit. Each light symbolizes a life of one of the thousands of MMIWG and foresee the other trees lit in the near future.
Our project aim was to bring awareness to the general public regarding the appalling statistics, provide families with the reassurance that their loved ones are not forgotten and raise funds to reward persons who come forward with information that leads to arrest(s) and conviction(s) of person(s) responsible for the disappearance of MMIWG and finally put have their souls continue their journey.
Finally, this project aimed at delivering a positive message in a respectful manner that promotes unity and reconciliation to help us move forward, and we believe we were successful in that delivery.
We are truly humbled by the positive feedback of our tree lighting. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and remain hopeful that this campaign will bring closure to you and your families.
Open your hearts and minds and donate to this cause by visiting our website www.treeofhopeproject.com
Police Constable Sharlene Bourdeau #269, Chair, TOHP
Police Member, Anna Barile #1044, Co-chair, TOHP