WINNIPEG — A small group of volunteers passionate about their neighbourhood and community has since turned into a recognized and sought after search group.
The Bear Clan has been involved in high profile searches including 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth, two-year-old Chase Martens and 16-year-old Delaine Copenace.
The group was started in 1992, but after several years began to diminish and eventually went on hiatus. Favel revived the organization in 2014 in the wake of Tina Fontaine’s murder. The grassroots initiative has grown into an organization that boasts close to 400 members.
“I just got back from Thunder Bay on Tuesday, they’re going to be starting their own chapter out there,” James Favel, leader of the Bear Clan said.
“I think in total we’ll have 18 communities in ten cities in five provinces by the end of this year.”
Favel hopes to make the group known across Canada.
WATCH: Global News stories about the Bear Clan Patrol
“I’ve been reintroduced to poverty and it’s so, it’s interesting,” Favel said. He quit his job to dedicate more time to the group.
“My mom always tells me that it’s an essential part of growing. You know as a trucker I was doing very well and I provided well for my family and now I’m not, we’re not doing so well financially,” he said.
“But I’m providing for so many more and I just, I just keep doing it.”
Global News sat down with Favel to discuss the roots of the Bear Clan, what the volunteer group has achieved and what the future holds. You can watch the interview at the top of the page.