In Ottawa, there are plenty of stories to tell. The police have worked in cooperation with residents, businesses, municipal officials and other diverse groups and agencies to address a wide variety of issues, including break and enters, drug houses, graffiti, petty theft and traffic concerns. Some of these initiatives have been city-wide, while others covered a city block.
Protocol Agreement between Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Ottawa Police Service
On Thursday, April 12, 2007 the Ottawa Police Service signed a historic protocol with Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.
In recognition of the previous dynamic within the relationship between the Aboriginal communities and the policing services responsible for their safety and security, this protocol will serve as a basis for future enhanced and mutually respectful relationships with the Ottawa Police and the larger urban Aboriginal community within the city of Ottawa.
The protocol specifically recognizes that there has historically been a difficult relationship between Aboriginal people and police services in general, which has resulted in a lack of trust on the part of Aboriginal peoples towards police officers and the justice system. Mistrust has continued in some areas while genuine progress and mutual respect has been achieved in other areas. This Agreement is a step towards ameliorating that lack of trust in the hope of providing better service to First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the City of Ottawa. The impact of colonization and the Indian Residential School System upon Aboriginal peoples must be recognized and this must be taken into account in the provision of any services to Aboriginal peoples. It is therefore recognized that the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Ottawa Police Service will require a special relationship to facilitate service delivery, support program missions and goals, increase cultural awareness, sensitivity and safety. This agreement will also help contribute to creating an effective and efficient professional and sustainable working relationship between the parties.
This agreement confirms a commitment to work together to assist First Nations, Inuit and Métis people to receive services and be supported by the urban Aboriginal community. To that end, both parties recognize the importance of Elders and Traditional Teachers to provide guidance, wisdom and teachings to ensure that the provision of community policing services is delivered in a manner that respects First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures.