Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy 2020-2021
Commanding Officer's foreword
Over the last five years I have been honored with the responsibility of leading the New Brunswick Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Within my commitments and priorities, I identified the need for an employee-led group to support divisional efforts in exploring all opportunities to ensure we build and sustain meaningful relationships with the Indigenous Peoples in New Brunswick.
From this core group, consisting of our J Division Indigenous Policing Non-Commissioned Officer, Strategic Planning Analyst, and Criminal Operations Core Policing Reviewer, we were able to re-establish the J Division Indigenous Employee Advisory Committee, build positive relationships with community groups such as the Wampum CISM group, launch the divisional eagle feather initiative, bring education to employees through blanket exercises, and engage community elders and leaders in helping us build meaningful objectives to establish a strong foundation for communication and to ensure we go about strengthening relationships by demonstrating cultural competency and cultural safety.
This Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy outlines our next divisional steps toward becoming the community leaders we aim to be and determining what and how policing services are delivered. Our efforts to drive cultural change within the organization will be managed alongside our annual performance plan and our five-year strategic plan currently under development.
As the Commanding Officer, I expect that we will purposefully engage in the present, recognize the wrongs of the past and take a responsibility for the future.
Assistant Commissioner Larry Tremblay, M.O.M.
Commanding Officer J Division
For the purpose of this document, community engagement is defined as participating in an inclusive process which brings community and the J Division RCMP together with a goal of strengthening relationships where the focus is placed on meaningful work towards mutually agreed upon priorities as it relates to Indigenous Policing in New Brunswick.
For the purpose of this document, cultural competency and cultural safety are defined as follows:
- Cultural competency
Cultural competency is a process that evolves over an extended period that brings awareness of our worldviews, attitudes, and cultural knowledge. Resulting in an openness to a variety of cultural realities and environments of the clients we serve and the employees working in our organization.
- Cultural safety
Cultural safety is an individual experience based on past experiences and can be strengthened by future experiences once a higher level of cultural competency is achieved. It is a process that evolves over an extended period to create an environment free of discrimination where people feel safe receiving our service and where our employees feel safe working for our organization.
This need for improved cultural competency and cultural safety was further emphasized through the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report and its recommendations, to which RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki responded, "
…for too many of you, the RCMP was not the police service you needed it to be during this terrible time in your life. It's very clear to me that the RCMP could have done better. I promise to you, we will do better. You are entitled to nothing less than our best work in your communities."
The J Division Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy is an evergreen 'living document' aligned to adapt and evolve with each of our communities while respecting individual community beliefs and values, RCMP National Reconciliation Working Group mandate and the fundamental core values of the RCMP. This is pivotal now given the culmination of the Truth and Reconciliation's Calls to Actions, the acknowledgement and apology for dire actions by the Federal Government and the RCMP, the greater awareness amongst Canadians to account for and respect Indigenous people, communities and culture.
Our Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy in J Division focuses on strengthening relationships between the RCMP and Indigenous Communities. To ensure a meaningful, workable strategy, we have engaged our employees and communities in helping us build a strategy that is understood and embraced. As we journey on a new path towards changing the culture of our organization of mutual respect and trust, we must acknowledge and honour the errors of the past in order not to repeat them.
- Ensuring we go about the work on the Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy by demonstrating cultural competency and cultural safety to ensure sustainable community engagement
- Ensure discussions with the Indigenous communities form our way forward, as it is necessary for providing a more responsive community focused service to Indigenous communities and partners
- Ensure the efforts aimed at Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's (TRC) Calls to Action account for the perspectives of our Indigenous clients, partners, employees and those who work with them
- Ensuring the priority focus for Indigenous Community Engagement is as follows:
- Importance of Communication
- Awareness and Understanding
- Clear Vision and Direction
- Commitment to effecting long lasting change
Impact and integration
This requires engagement of all RCMP employees, starting with National Contract and Indigenous Policing (CI&P), the RCMP Reconciliation Working Group (RRWG), J Division Community Engagement, J Division Indigenous Policing Services, and J Division Indigenous Employee Advisory Committee.
- This work will further the RCMP as a world class organization that makes and keeps people safe, by mobilizing a strategy for Reconciliation to bolster the Indigenous priority
- Aligns with rebuilding the trust, placing the Indigenous strategic priority with a strategy to foster safer homes and safer communities
- Efforts on Indigenous Policing Services Annual Performance Plans (APP) Priorities and Divisional APP Priorities will be tracked by the Divisional Annual Performance Plan system (APPS) and reported to the Commanding Officer monthly.
Historically, the organization does attempt new programs, yet could rely on current training and awareness programs. In order to implement true organizational change, it will need to occur with clear direction, goals, buy in and exemplification by leadership as well as fostering grass roots measures. This is a long term, generational movement that will require a commitment for decades to come. The importance of discussions with indigenous communities must be honored in all of the work that we do from here forward. Community lead direction will affect long lasting change.
Develop and implement an Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy based on our determined priority setting framework.
- Creation of tools to guide employees through the strategy ensuring cultural competency and cultural safety
- Consider the creation of additional tools and resources that address specific concerns raised by Indigenous people from a variety of sources
- Training and awareness to support efforts in TRC's Calls to Action
- Time - for the National RRWG participants, the J Division Community Engagement Working Group participants (be it those on the Working Group or any employees elsewhere), and J Division Indigenous Employee Advisory Committee members to work with their business lines/divisions/units/detachments/communities
- for the Division to ensure a plan is in place to track continued work on the strategy, operationalize decisions, continue to involve stakeholders
- Dedicated resources to capture the work on various initiatives
- Ensure that we are using Indigenous Teachings as a foundation for the work
- Ensure that we are respecting where communities are in their journey to reconciliation. (That is, not all communities will be ready to be a part of/embrace our Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy)
- Being mindful that using Indigenous Language breaks down barriers
- Ensuring Treaty Recognition Education
- Ensuring we are communicating the principles (Government of Canada) about how we incorporate these as well as the TRC's Calls to Action and the Recommendations from the MMIWG inquiry both externally and internally, as well as ensuring awareness and recognition to United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Ensuring supports exist for our indigenous employees that are culturally competent
- Incorporate the Wampum Belt teachings in the development of our strategy to ensure all employees in the division see themselves in the strategy and know their roles/responsibilities to ensuring an ongoing commitment and longevity in this area (Historically Wampum Belts were primarily used by the Eastern Woodlands Indigenous Peoples for ornamental, ceremonial, diplomatic and commercial proposes. They were also significant to confirm relationships and tell important stories.)
Internal and external stakeholders/partners
- Indigenous people/communities/organizations in New Brunswick
- J Division Commanding Officer (J Division APP)
- J Division Indigenous Employee Advisory Committee
- Commissioner's National Indigenous Advisory Committee Representative
- J Division Community Program Officers
- Wampum CISM
- Looking Out for Each Other
- Family Information Liaison Unit (FILU)/Victim Services/Women's Equality Branch/Mawlugutineg Mental Wellness Team
- Federal Government (Principles Respecting the Government of Canada's Relationship with Indigenous Peoples)
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Calls to Action)
- RCMP Commissioner (Vision 150)
- National RCMP Reconciliation Working Group (RRWG)
Reconciliation is broader than an annual plan, it's part and parcel of the vision statement; relationship building, knowing if you are heading in the right direction.
Our Stewardship: Resources are efficiently allocated, service is provided in a timely manner, and performance is enhanced, leading to improved community relationships. Initiative: Engage in meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities.
To create and sustain a robust culture of reconciliation that prioritizes the education and awareness of all employees fostering a change in the culture of the RCMP to attain and promote trust with our Indigenous clients, partners, communities, people and employees.
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