The United Native Friendship Centre is celebrating National Aboriginal Day on Thursday (June 21) by hosting a barbecue in front of its building on Portage Avenue to support the Fort Frances Bear Clan.
The event will run from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., during which bannock burgers, hotdogs, and pop will be available for purchase.
All proceeds from the barbecue will go to the Fort Frances Bear Clan, a volunteer-run group focused on community outreach and safety.
“They're just out to support the community,” said Lori Devoe of the UNFC.
“They are always out picking up needles whenever you call them, throughout the day or night,” she noted.
The group goes on nightly walks to patrol the community and provide a sense of safety to town residents.
“They walk around town throughout the evening and throughout the night,” Devoe said.
"They check the parks and will help out any way they can within the community.
“I see it as a great thing, especially right now with all the needles and things that have been showing up,” she added.
“It's great we have them to call on to clean up.”
The Bear Clan pays monthly rent for its office at the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau (old CN station) and relies heavily on donations and fundraising to stay afloat.
Devoe said this fundraiser is a great way to directly support the organization and ensure its services will continue here.
She also noted that coming to the barbecue and purchasing a hot lunch is a great way to show thanks to the Bear Clan for all the work it does.
Bear Clan members will be on hand Thursday so those at the barbecue can learn more about the organization and how to help.
“I just want people to know how important the Bear Clan is for our community with all that they're doing,” Devoe explained.
“It's all volunteer," she reiterated. "They survive off of fundraising and that's why we wanted to support them in this.”
Devoe said she's looking forward to serving up some delicious food to the community while supporting a great cause.
“We're excited to be able to support them,” she enthused.
“We're looking forward to Thursday and hope a lot of people can come out.”