Calgary is in traditional Blackfoot territory and the history of the people in this place goes back thousands of years before European settlement.
There have been very dark periods in the relationship between police and Indigenous people over the past centuries and it is important for us to pursue reconciliation with the original people of southern Alberta.
This includes the Blackfoot Confederacy of the Siksika, Kainai and Piikani Nations; as well as the Tsuu T’ina Nation; the Iyarhe Nakota people of the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley Nations; and the Metis Nation of Alberta who also shares a deep connection to this land.
In early 2018, our leaders in consultation with local Elders recognized the need for a strategy to help our Service implement the recommendations of several important documents:
In November 2019, members from across our Service hosted a day of talking circles with Elders, Indigenous community leaders and other stakeholders to identify gaps that need to be addressed to meet the recommendations.
An internal committee of 26 people has also been formed to help implement the changes that are needed.
The overall strategy is still under development and we will have more consultation with the community when public health restrictions allow. However, we have taken the following steps in the meantime:
We have included Indigenous ceremonial practices into our special occasions, in consultation with and under the supervision of local Elders. Smudges and Elder attendance are now part of every new recruit graduation and an honour song has been gifted to us to play at these ceremonies. Elders are also routinely invited to open formal events with a blessing.
We have created a sacred space at our Westwinds Campus to allow for smudging before meetings or investigative interviews where it is appropriate.
Calgary Indigenous Court provide a culturally relevant, restorative, and holistic system of justice for Indigenous individuals, including offenders, victims and the community harmed by an offender’s actions.