The chief of a First Nation community in Ontario is asking for the return of a ceremonial headdress that was stolen in Mississauga on Saturday.
While in town to host the Little Native Hockey League tournament, Chief Scott McLeod’s vehicle was stolen from Sandman Signature Mississauga hotel early Saturday morning, Nipissing First Nation said in a press release Saturday.
The release said the greatest concern stemming from the theft is that the chief’s headdress was in the vehicle and is now lost.
“I ask that the perpetrators of this theft find it upon themselves to kindly return the headdress, this can be done anonymously, to the Sandman Signature Mississauga hotel or to one of the arenas where the event is taking place,” McLeod said in the release.
The First Nation said the headdress was reconstructed following more than two years of research by elders, academics, historians and geographers.
“The beadwork style represents the women’s roles in supporting the leader wearing the ceremonial headdress. The seven white eagle feathers signify the commitment that a leader makes to lead with responsibility following the seven grandfather/grandmother teachings,” the release said.
Nipissing First Nation is located on the shores of Lake Nipissing, approximately 100 kilometres east of Sudbury.
Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said the force recognizes the significance of the headdress and the impact of its loss.
“Our investigators will pursue all avenues, and we are asking for the assistance of our community, to ensure its return,” Duraiappah wrote on Twitter.
The hockey tournament is taking place in Mississauga between March 12 and 16.