Cruiser of Hope collecting donations this Thursday

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Treaty Three Police Services are coming together to help those in need this Thursday.

The annual Cruiser of Hope will be taking place this Thursday, February 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Walmarts across northwestern Ontario, with the event happening concurrently in Fort Frances, Kenora and Dryden. According to Cassandra Yerxa, the Missing and Murdered Women and Girls coordinator of the Social Department for Grand Council Treaty #3, the event is held as a joint project as part of the Treaty Three Police Service’s Spirit of Hope project, and is aimed at supporting Indigenous women and children.

“The Cruiser of Hope Event is an annual event in honour of fostering safe communities and spaces for Indigenous women and children to help those lead a good life, Mino Bimaadiziwin,” Yerxa said.

“It will take place in the three urban settings within the Territory of Treaty #3, just like last year.”

Like in years past, the public is encouraged to drop off donations of items like feminine hygiene products, cookware, dishes, clothing, bedding and toys, along with other household staples. The goal, Yerxa said, is just to provide a number of necessities for those who need a helping hand and a fresh start having removed themselves from a dangerous situation. Once collected, the items will be distributed throughout the region to shelters that are ready to make use of them.

“There are six shelters within the Territory of Treaty #3, with a seventh opening in Kenora that is geared to fostering a safe environment for young mothers and their infants,” Yerxa said.

“The items go to these places to help those in achieving Mino Bimaadiziwin.”

Yerxa explained that the initiative is done to respectfully, keeping those impacted by violence in the hearts of the organizations and individuals involved.

“Everything we do, has to be done in a good way, a respectable way, with the families, the survivors and those impacted in our hearts, and to keep the victimization of Indigenous Women and Girls at the forefront of discussion, to hopefully one day eliminate the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” she said.

“The Social Department of Grand Council Treaty 3 strives to promote education, advocacy, and awareness on a grassroots level in the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3.”

For more information about the Cruiser of Hope event, contact Yerxa at