Wednesday, October 25, 2006

West Coast Native Aboriginals Train With Police

Recently, a 17-week Aboriginal Youth Training Program was held to help strengthen the bridge between police and local West Coast Native Aboriginal communities. Thirty two student interns attended the Canadian nationwide program and worked as peace officers with members of the RCMP and the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association. One student, Roberta Chouinard, 18, spent two weeks in basic training, then was paired with Vancouver Constable Angela Kermer. Both women are of Canadian native aboriginal ancestry and spent a significant amount of time with members of the local West Coast Native Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Chouinard worked side by side with Kermer and was always in uniform during public events. She says the AYTP is a method of recruiting more Canadian aboriginal law officers. "The numbers are pretty low for officers that are of Canadian Native Aboriginal ancestry," said Chouinard. "Even here in North Vancouver, they only have two West Coast Native Aboriginal police officers."

See West Coast Native Aboriginal Art at Free Spirit Gallery

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