One Portage woman is hoping to wake the Portage la Prairie Bear Clan out of semi-hibernation.
Jane Tully, Coordinator for the organization since September of 2022, defines the group as women-and-indigenous-led with the main focus of positively connecting and influencing the community. However, the Bear Clan wants volunteers from all walks of life, noting there are no restrictions to who can join the group.
She explains that numerous leadership changes caused the group's impact on the community to lessen in 2022. However, they are back on the upswing.
"From July until September, it was basically volunteers picking up and trying to keep things going. Then September, when I came in, we started getting more consistent and getting everybody back on track."
Tully adds that the group aims to go on one or two patrols a week if weather and volunteer numbers allow it, focusing on keeping the community clean and safe.
"We pick up needles and sharps," she continues. "We see a lot of them (needles) in playgrounds. We'd love to have anybody who would like to come and join us on walks."
The Bear Clan held their AGM Wednesday evening, highlighting that they went on 39 patrols last year, delivered 62 care packages to community groups as well as those on the verge of homelessness, and turned in multiple stolen articles to the RCMP.
Tully notes that she is so proud to be a part of a group like the Bear Clan, which makes such a difference in the community.