Discussions were focused on police practices in Inuit communities and on the joint objective of keeping Inuit women and children safe
OTTAWA, July 14, 2020 – Today, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is reporting on the positive meeting which took place last Friday between its President Rebecca Kudloo and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki to discuss police practices as they relate to Inuit women, and the possibility of creating an MOU between Pauktuutit and the RCMP. Brian Brennan, RCMP Deputy Commissioner of Contract and Indigenous Policing, also took part in the conference call.
Earlier this year, Pauktuutit published a detailed report, Addressing Gendered Violence Against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat, which called for a fundamental shift in how northern policing is carried out to address the pervasiveness and severity of the violence experienced by Inuit women.
Specifically, the report listed 15 recommendations to shift police officers from “community outsiders” to being seen as collaborative community allies, including:
- the implementation of culturally competent and trauma-informed policing;
- the creation of Inuit advisory committees;
- the establishment of gender-based policing protocols and gender-based violence training for RCMP members; as well as the need to have female officers present for statement-taking in cases of violence against women; and
- the overall adoption of a decolonized approach grounded in Inuit knowledge and world views.
“We were encouraged by our discussion with RCMP Commissioner Lucki as she seems to have a solid grasp of Pauktuutit’s policing recommendations and a genuine desire to concretely move them forward,” said Kudloo. “We are also glad to hear about her openness towards the establishment of an MOU between Pauktuutit and the RCMP.”
“Open communication is key to positive working relationships,” said Commissioner Lucki. “Friday’s teleconference with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is an excellent example of how collaboration and open dialogue can advance mutual goals and aspirations. The RCMP and Pauktuutit both want to see the recruitment of more Inuit as police officers and employees, and embed important cultural perceptions training as mandatory learning for all our members who work in Inuit Nunangat.”
Specifically, Commissioner Lucki expressed her support for the Inuit-specific Calls for Justice, as outlined in the 2019 MMIWG report, as well as the importance of investing in related community supports, such as access to emergency shelters and mental health services. She also spoke about the RCMP’s current work in recruiting and training a much greater number of Inuit police officers.
“Overall, I came out of the meeting feeling that Commissioner Lucki and I share a common goal of wanting to ensure the safety and security of Inuit women and children. We have now committed to speaking regularly and I look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve these critical safety and justice reforms which will have a significant impact on Inuit women and children. It is a step in the right direction towards reconciliation,” said Kudloo.
“The RCMP looks forward to continued work with Pauktuutit and our national, provincial, and territorial Indigenous partners and communities across the country to ensure we are always improving, changing and striving to be the police service that Canada expects us to be,” said Lucki.
Pauktuutit is also aiming to work with territorial and provincial governments that have jurisdiction for contracted policing in Inuit Nunangat. Presently, Pauktuutit has had preliminary communication with the Nunavut Government with the goal of ensuring that the experiences and recommendations of Inuit women are reflected in policing policies and procedures to increase the safety of women and children.
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. Its mandate is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns in relation to social, cultural and economic development.
For more information, please contact:
Catherine Fortin LeFaivre