Randy Lilley has taken over as the Portage Bear Clan Coordinator after Jane Tully passed the torch to him in early October.

Lilley was one of the original volunteers for the group and expressed his keen interest in joining the team again when he heard about the opportunity. However, before he got the green light of approval, Lilley explained that he had to meet with the Indigenous Women's Council to see if he would be a good fit.

"And so here we are," Lilley smiled. "One thing I will say about the Portage Bear Clan is that they have a very strong volunteer base, and without all the great volunteers that we have, I wouldn't have been able to do this position."

Lilley told PortageOnline that there are some misconceptions about what the Bear Clan does. He says it all comes down to strengthening the community, whether that's picking up sharps, providing nonperishable food items to those in need, or going on community patrols.

"The Bear Clan is not looking to stop crimes or anything of that nature. It's about connecting the community. It's about being visible, looking out for people and communicating with our partners to ensure that the community is a good place to be."

With lots of helping hands, Lilley says it's easy to stay motivated when stepping up in his new role. 

The idea for the Bear Clan in Portage la Prairie was brought up in 2019, with their first patrols taking place in January 2020.

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