From Peguis First Nation (Ojibwe), residing in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada James Favel lives, works and volunteers in the inner city of Winnipeg where much of the largest urban indigenous population in North America, estimated to be over 90,000 persons, is concentrated. He has been given the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of the health and balance of his community and has taken full advantage of that opportunity.
For the last ten years he has worked with local grassroots groups in community development, and most recently, he co-founded Bear Clan Patrol Inc., which started out as a community safety patrol but has evolved into something much grander than initially intended.
The program has evolved to include not only safety but cultural restoration, poverty alleviation, advocacy and reconciliation. It supports families of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls, provides barrier free access to food security, and works with service providers to establish barrier free health care and mental health supports for the community.
Bear Clan Patrol began in one small community in Winnipeg’s inner city and has grown to serve more than fitty-five communities nationwide. From twelve volunteers in 2014 to nearly 1700 in 2020. It supports the community proactively rather than in a reactive way and has inspired others to do same.