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Nunavut Minister of Justice - Nunavut RCMP Commanding Officer, Shared Directional Statement 2019-2021

03 November 2020

 

Nunavut Minister of Justice - Nunavut RCMP Commanding Officer

Shared Directional Statement 2019-2021

This Shared Directional Statement is a reflection of the recognition from both parties that policing in Nunavut is as unique as the Territory itself.

The Government of Nunavut {GN) and the Government of Canada (GC) are parties to a 20 year contract to provide stable and effective policing in Nunavut by utilizing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as the Territorial Police Service. This contract is indicative of the partnership and commitment of Nunavut and Canada to work together to provide Nunavummiut with police services that are delivered in an efficient, effective, and culturally considerate manner.

Building on the priorities identified by Nunavummiut, the GN and RCMP will work to foster effective relationships with Inuit and the community by focusing on public safety through communication, transparency, accountability, responding to the needs of communities at risk, and by delivering crime prevention/reduction initiatives.

The policing goals shared by the GN and RCMP will be accomplished through shared priorities which will enhance the well-being and safety of communities in Nunavut and ensure that the RCMP continues to strive to be the organization of excellence and accountability that clients and stakeholders have come to expect.

These shared priorities are:

  • Promote public trust and confidence with Inuit;
  • Accountability for government and the communities;
  • Communities at Risk; and,
  • Crime Prevention/ Reduction
     

Promote public trust and confidence with Inuit

The history and the uniqueness of policing in the territory predate Nunavut itself. The RCMP has had a strong presence and role in administering government policies in the North. For this reason, the relationship with Inuit requires effort to rebuild the trust and confidence in the force. We can accomplish this in Nunavut by continuing to build and foster relationships and partnerships through effective communication with community and with Inuit.

The priority areas are:

  • Ensuring the use and promotion of lnuktitut within the force. The GN and RCMP acknowledge the importance of police being able to communicate with Inuit in their language, for both public and officer safety. In addition, the GN and RCMP will work to provide signage, services, and correspondence to Nunavummiut in the Inuit languages;
  • Actively undertake and encourage the recruitment of Inuit officers and employees on an ongoing basis;
  • Ensuring that new members arriving in Nunavut are informed and sensitive to Inuit culture: provided with a comprehensive orientation about the relationship history between Inuit and the RCMP; provided with an orientation into the communities where they w ill serve; and by encouraging ongoing cultural competency training for current members;
  • Ensuring members transferring to "V" Division undergo northern suitability screening; and
  • Ensuring efforts are made to identify members who possess the attributes to be successful in policing our remote communities. This is especially important for the wellbeing and safety of both members and the communities they serve.


Accountability for government and the communities

As government bodies, we are entrusted to manage resources effectively, prudently and responsibly on behalf of all Nunavummiut. Furthermore, we are also entrusted to ensure government is held accountable for its actions. Accordingly, allegations of police misconduct must be addressed in a timely and appropriate manner. We can address these issues in Nunavut by finding innovative ways to address operational and financial pressures for policing in the territory and to ensure consistency, oversight and public awareness of all avenues available to address police misconduct.

The priority areas are:

  • Collaboration between the GN and the RCMP to address resourcing challenges;
  • Ensuring that allegations of police misconduct are taken seriously and acted upon. The RCMP has in place a comprehensive review structure with independent oversight practices to address all allegations of police misconduct. We will work to ensure that the public is aware of the steps to take should they have any concerns regarding police misconduct in Nunavut; and
  • Ensuring effective communication between and with the community, to foster a partnership between Nunavummiut and their police force. For this reason, mutual engagement by the RCMP, GN, Hamlet councils and community members, as well as public education and community based partnerships, will be supported and sustained.


Communities at risk

Youth

Nunavut has the youngest and one of the fastest growing populations in Canada. We recognize that there are many children and youth across the territory in need of support. The GN and RCMP agree to focus on prevention and early intervention initiatives to engage with youth and encourage their participation in community initiatives to ensure they do not turn to criminal activity in their communities.

The priority areas are:

  • In an effort to support young people at risk, the GN and RCMP will collaborate to find ways to prevent youth crime and address the challenges of young offenders;
  • The GN and RCMP agree that they must work together with partners and stakeholders including: hamlet councils, community justice committees, the courts, the public prosecution service, health services, defense representatives, and others to develop proactive solutions to address the root causes of youth criminal activity and effectively deal with the consequences of youth crime;
  • The RCMP will also continue to focus efforts on preventing the importation and use of illegal drugs and alcohol to reduce the use for youth at risk; and
  • The GN and RCMP will continue to support youth training and recruitment programs such as:
    • School programs;
    • RCMP youth mentorship; and
    • The RCMP summer student program.

Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Mental Health Awareness

Suicide remains a barrier to the success of Nunavut. The development and implementation of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy recognizes this barrier. The RCMP will continue as an active partner of the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The priority areas are:

  • Focusing on suicide prevention, the RCMP and the GN will continue interagency partnerships focused on identifying and resolving issues that lead to suicide. As a key partner on the Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy, the RCMP will implement and monitor police related action items in support of the overall strategy;
  • The RCMP will also continue its strong support for Mental Health First Aid training program and will participate in such training to ensure officers are prepared to deal with emergency situations involving mental health concerns; and
  • The RCMP will continue to deliver training to their membership related to skill development in dealing with persons in crisis or emotional distress. The following course training standards will continue to be implemented:
    • Crisis Intervention & De-escalation;
    • Recognition of Emotionally Disturbed Persons; and
    • Road to Mental Readiness

Family Violence (Elder, Spousal and Child Abuse)

The GN and RCMP recognize that family violence has a devastating effect on families in Nunavut and that work must be done to help victims and address the circumstances that lead to violence in the home.

The priority areas are:

  • The RCMP and the GN will continue to work in collaborative partnerships with agencies committed to reducing family violence in Nunavut. The RCMP commits to fully investigating all incidents of family violence;
  • Where circumstances permlt, the RCMP will consider the use of community agencies and/or elders in an advisory role;
  • Implementing trauma informed approaches in policing has been identified as a best practice as it lessens the impact of crime and trauma on individuals. The RCMP and the GN will work towards implementing such approaches when dealing with violence;
  • The GN commits to continued funding for community based counselling and community justice programming; and
  • The GN and RCMP commit to reducing family violence by exploring ways to improve the implementation and administration of the Family Abuse Intervention Act to ensure it is being used effectively and to its full potential.
     

Crime Prevention/ Reduction

As Nunavummiut, we care deeply about the safety and well-being of our communities, families and children. Our communities are made stronger when individuals and families feel secure in their homes and communities, when they can access the support and resources they need and when they can seek protection from harm when necessary.