O Division Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy
The O Division Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy relies on the engagement of, and collaboration with, Indigenous communities and policing partners. This will inform the strategy and support the implementation, oversight, and reporting of our progress.
With an estimated 2020 population of 14.7 million, Ontario is Canada’s most populous province with 39% of the national population. This includes over 375,000 Ontarians who identify as Indigenous, more than any other province. Métis, as well as First Nations peoples from eight distinct cultural identities, first called Ontario home and each has their own languages, customs, and territories. The Algonquin, Mississauga, Ojibway, Cree, Odawa, Potawatomi, Delaware, and the Haudenosaunee form an indispensable part of Ontario’s diverse cultural landscape today.
The O Division Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy is important to ensure that Indigenous public safety interests are well represented and federal policing needs can be met in an efficient and appropriate manner. As we move forward, it is important that we acknowledge and learn from the past, evaluate our current actions, and collaborate with Indigenous communities, peoples and employees towards a future that more fully embodies an inclusive and open-minded RCMP culture.
National Reconciliation Efforts
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, including the over 1,900 Indigenous RCMP employees, is of vital importance for the RCMP. From the creation of the Northwest Mounted Police in 1873, the history of the RCMP and the role it played in colonialization has been interwoven with First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples. Rooted in trust, reconciliation is a long-term commitment and requires a community driven approach, anchored in truth telling, and guided by the principle “nothing about us, without us”.
In this spirit, the RCMP National Reconciliation Strategy aligns with broader actions relevant to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice.
O Division Reconciliation Strategic Objectives
Objective #1 – Collaborate and foster improved relationships with Ontario’s Indigenous communities and police service partners.
Initiatives supporting Objective #1 are:
1.1 Create a Division Indigenous Liaison Unit (ILU) to lead the Division’s efforts in community liaison work, community relationship building, and community crime-prevention programs within and for Indigenous communities
- Indigenous Liaison Unit will adapt this long-term Reconciliation Strategy as this consultation/collaboration unfolds.
- Establish both formal and informal partnerships to build a foundation of trust with Indigenous communities and organizations.
1.2 Enhance engagement and partnerships with the Ontario Indigenous police service providers (First Nations self-administered and OPP First Nations Policing Agreement).
- Indigenous Liaison Unit members collaborate with self-administered First Nations police services (FNPP) and those under the OPP-administered Ontario First Nations Policing Agreement (OFNPA).
1.3 Enhance relationship with the Indigenous Police Chief of Ontario IPCO (Provincial).
- Regular formal/informal meetings with IPCO.
- Attend and participate in the annual IPCO General Meeting.
- Introduction of the Commanding Officer to the IPCO.
- As requested, support IPCO with their plan to administer the Ontario First Nations Organized Crime Initiative funding from Public Safety Canada.
1.4 Enhance relationships with the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association (National).
- Attend and participate in the First Nations Chiefs of Police annual general meeting.
1.5 Enhance relationship with the OPP Indigenous Policing Bureau.
- Re-establish a formal MOU for an RCMP member to work with the OPP Indigenous Policing Bureau, in support of Indigenous networking in Ontario.
1.6 Participation and engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations.
- Ensuring detachments have the Indigenous RCMP ensign displayed
- Participate in Treaty Days when requested by First Nations
- Participate in National Indigenous Reconciliation community campaigns including: Sisters in Spirit Vigil, Moose Hide Campaign, and Orange Shirt Day
- Ongoing commitment to the Toys for the North Christmas Campaign.
Objective #2 - Enhance internal employee awareness and support of Reconciliation.
Initiatives supporting Objective #2 are:
2.1 Undertake training and education of all RCMP employees so that they understand and can implement culturally appropriate and trauma-informed practices.
- Train Division employees as facilitators on the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.
- Deliver the KAIROS Blanket Exercise across the Division.
- Indigenous Liaison Unit, in partnership with Training, will seek local cultural awareness opportunities for divisional RCMP employees.
- Indigenous Liaison Unit will coordinate, with support from the Criminal Operations Support Officer and participation from detachments.
2.2 Leadership promoting, supporting, and encouraging employee participation in Indigenous training activities and events such as the Sisters in Spirit Vigil and Moose Hide Campaign
2.3 Enhance collaboration with RCMP National HQ Indigenous Policing Services to ensure the Division’s Reconciliation strategy is appropriately aligned
Objective #3 - Increase contribution opportunities for Indigenous employees
Initiatives supporting Objective #3 are:
3.1 Establish an Indigenous Employee Network with the objective of supporting Indigenous specific initiatives.
- Identify issues affecting the recruiting of Indigenous people and undertake strategies with the Division’s Recruiting Section to support enhanced representative Indigenous diversity (Recruiting)
- Identify issues affecting the retention of Indigenous employees and undertake strategies to remove employment issues and barriers. (Retention)
- Identify issues impacting the Division’s current Indigenous cultural awareness education and undertake collaboration with the Division’s Equity and Inclusion Committee and Training Section to develop an enhanced strategy.
3.2 Enhance engagement with the O Division representative on the Commissioner’s National Advisory Committee, within the Division.
- Invite the O Division representative for a tour of the RCMP O Division Headquarters
- Establish regular meetings with the Commanding Officer, Indigenous Liaison Unit and divisional Indigenous Employees
3.3 Explore the opportunity to establish and engage with a civilian Indigenous advisory committee to advise the Commanding Officer
The O Division Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy must take into account the interests of Indigenous Communities. As such, we will encourage RCMP Indigenous employees to provide their feedback on the objectives and initiatives undertaken within the Division. The establishment of a Division Indigenous Liaison Unit will centralize expertise and provide dedicated support and resources to lead consultation with Indigenous community leaders and police service partners to validate and enhance our Indigenous reconciliation strategy.
Moving forwardIndigenous Reconciliation requires a committed long-term effort and resources on multiple fronts, as well as continuous improvements to employee awareness and outreach with Indigenous communities. By approving this Strategy, the O Division Commanding Officer is committing the Division to a process of understanding and relationship building. O Division will review this Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy annually to support meaningful reconciliation with our Indigenous employees and Indigenous communities.
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