© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Lorna Thiessen, Marlene Bird's aunt, speaks at Thursday's Honouring our Brothers and Sisters Memorial Walk. To her left is Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief Edward Henderson. The two are seen outside of the Margo Fournier Centre, where emergency personnel found Bird in critical condition on June 1.
At the forefront of many people’s mind is the idea that whoever violently assaulted Marlene Bird on June 1 is still out there in the community.
It’s certainly on the family’s mind, Montreal Lake Cree Nation Chief Edward Henderson said.
“Until the individuals or individuals are caught, we’re worried about Marlene’s safety,” he said.
Ensuring she remains safe, only individuals on a list of approved names are allowed to see her at the Edmonton hospital where she remains in recovery.
Bird is off of life support but continues to face surgeries and has already had both legs amputated.
Banding together with the Prince Albert Grand Council, Montreal Lake Cree Nation is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the conviction of the person (s) responsible for Bird’s current condition.
Emergency personnel found her outside of the Margo Fournier Centre at about 10:20 a.m. on June 1.
Prince Albert Police Service Chief Troy Cooper commended the band for coming up with the reward -- something he said might help in bringing whoever’s responsible to justice.
At this point, the investigation remains open.
At Thursday’s City Hall kickoff to the Honouring our Brothers and Sisters Memorial Walk, Prince Albert Grand Chief Ron Michel put in a call to action for people to come forward with information.
“There are far too many people who know what’s happening and are not coming out,” he said. “There are far too many people that choose to shut their ears.
Until the individuals or individuals are caught, we’re worried about Marlene’s safety. Edward Henderson
“They’re either scared, or they’re totally just ignoring it.”
Trust Account for Marlene Bird
The $2,000 reward was one of two conclusions drawn from a Wednesday meeting with some of Bird’s family members, Cooper and Prince Albert Grand Council elected officials.
The second thing to come out of Wednesday’s meeting was the need for a trust account, which Henderson said will be set up at the Royal Canadian Bank of Commerce by Thursday afternoon.
“As you can imagine, Marlene is going to have to go through some special needs – she has a few more surgeries to go through and a lot of therapy,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, there are instances … when people take advantage of this.”
The family spotted a poster asking for donations to Marlene Bird without having contacted the family beforehand, which led to some speculation of a scam.
Now, if anyone wants to help the family they can stop by the Royal Bank of Canada to deposit money into the Marlene Bird trust account.
Letters of support and donations continue to be accepted at the Prince Albert YWCA locations.
Their mailing address is YWCA Our House at 1895 Central Ave., S6V 4W8.
Letters are being mailed out weekly.