Details emerge regarding sacred headdress inside car stolen from Mississauga

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Published March 13, 2023 at 8:28 pm

The sacred headdress worn here by Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod has been safely returned. - via Nipissing First Nation

More details have emerged regarding the search for a sacred headdress which was inside a car stolen from a Mississauga parking lot.

Peel Regional Police recovered the headdress, said to hold “significant sentimental value and cultural importance” on Mar. 13. The headdress and car belong to Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod.

He had driven down to Mississauga from his nation near North Bay days earlier to host the Little Native Hockey League.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Mar. 10 he parked his car, a 2022 Green Jeep Wrangler, at The Sandman Signature hotel near Dixie Rd. and Matheson Blvd. for the night. Police believe his car was stolen around 3 a.m. the following morning with the headdress still inside.

The loss of the headdress was of “greatest concern,” according to Nipissing First Nation and McLeod appealed for the thief to at least return it to the hotel or to the hockey games.

“The headdress was reconstructed following more than two years of research by elders, academics, historians, and geographers all familiar with the resources available 100 years ago,” the First Nation said.

“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.”

After days of worry, officers with Peel police 21 Division spotted the Jeep abandoned in a parking lot near Bramalea Rd. and East Dr. in Brampton, about 10 kilometres northeast of the hotel, on Mar. 13.

The officers recovered the car and headdress after a brief investigation. Both the Jeep and the headdress have been returned to McLeod undamaged.

“Through proactive policing, our officers were able to locate and recover the stolen ceremonial headdress of Nipissing First Nation. Recognizing the great significance of the sacred headdress, we thank our community for their assistance, and our officers for their dedication and determination to ensure its safe return to Chief Scott McLeod,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.

Peel police have not reported any arrests or charges in connection to the stolen Jeep and headdress. However their investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with further information about the theft can call police at (905) 453-2121, ext. 1233 or Peel Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477),

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