In my capacity as Co-ordinator of Cree Police Services, my duties require that I become deeply involved with various policing matters, issues and concerns. While the scope of my activities relate primarily to assisting with the resolution of problems relating to procedural and administrative aspects of the policing function, I am also involved in training programs.
As you can well appreciate, the topic of training is extremely important inasmuch as it provides the trainee with the knowledge and abilities that are required to perform an effective job of policing. In the past most police training programs were developed for the general population and any aboriginal person simply had to take the program and adapt what he/she had learned to their own environment to the best of their ability.
The academics at John Abbott College have recognized this shortcoming and have attempted to develop an AEC (attestation d’études collegiales) program which is more tailored to the unique cultural fabric of First Nation and Inuit communities. One of the ways they did this was by preparing case studies that had circumstances or scenarios typically found in the trainee’s community.
The aforementioned training program, offered in the English language, is essentially a new and novel way of providing this type of training. While there are undoubtedly lessons to be learned and further improvements that can be designed into the program, the fact remains that it is a fresh approach which makes greater recognition of the needs of the persons being trained.
I attended the graduation ceremony that was held at the Ecole nationale de Police in Nicolet on July 7th, 2000. From the Cree Communities the following were graduates: Oujé-Bougoumou- Karl Simard, Whapmagoostui- Robert Audair and Mistissini-Kenneth Macleod & Nakoa Trapper.