The newly appointed commander of the Manitoba RCMP this week called on Indigenous leaders to build relationships between northern and remote Indigenous communities in the province and the police and military who serve them. He said he is doing everything in his power to improve.
“What can be done to improve relations, we need to open up our lines of communication so that people can call the police when they need help instead of being afraid of us.” Manitoba Keywatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Speech at Annual Meeting.
Since Hill was appointed commander of Division D on July 27 and assumed the role, it has been critical that RCMP officers and detachments continue to find ways to build trust and build relationships in northern Manitoba. I understand that Especially with indigenous peoples and communities.
He said one of the main ways the RCMP in the north are doing it is by increasingly asking indigenous leaders and elders what they would like to see from the police that serve them.
“Ultimately, everyone here has the same common goal: to keep our community safe for all residents, but we can’t do this alone. .
“Consultation is key when prioritizing policing. We do not crack down on bubbles. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
“Without you, we cannot make decisions that affect you.”
Hill said the focus now is on ensuring that all officers and new officers have a deep understanding of the backgrounds, cultures and experiences that make up Indigenous communities.
“The needs of the community are as diverse as the people who live there. Manitobaans come from very different backgrounds and very different lived experiences,” he said. , I know it can be improved to better guide new officers.
“I truly believe it is important for all officers, myself included, to never stop learning about the culture and history of the peoples we serve and protect.”
Hill now encourages RCMP officers in northern Manitoba and throughout the state to participate in traditional Indigenous events and ceremonies when possible as a way to build their “cultural IQ.” I added that there are.
“We encourage officers to participate in powwows, grand entries, sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies, feasts and other ceremonies whenever the RCMP is invited to participate,” he said. rice field.
Hill said RCMP officers are spending more time and using more resources these days to travel to communities in northern Manitoba. He said one of the best ways to build relationships is for the RCMP to meet face-to-face with Indigenous leaders, elders and community members. as possible.
“By visiting each community, the RCMP had the opportunity to listen, learn, and set priorities based on feedback from elders, mayors and councils. We teach our officers about Indigenous values,” said Hill. He said.
He also said he wanted the officers to listen to the elders, even if it was difficult for them to hear them.
“We have respected elders who have spoken openly about their past experiences with police, but unfortunately many of the stories shared were negative,” Hill said.
“Sometimes this is hard to hear, but I recognize that it is necessary to heal and move forward.
“We have to be open to listening.”
— Dave Baxter is a reporter for the Local Journalism Initiative working for the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.