Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes highlights BC Association of Police Board event at the March 9 council meeting. (Courtesy of Teale Phelps Bondaroff)

Saanich police make attempts to mend relationship with Indigenous people

Mayor Fred Haynes lauds Saanich police efforts toward Truth and Reconciliations at council meeting

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes is hopeful that the relationship between the Saanich Police and Indigenous people in the Saanich community can be improved through education and understanding. Haynes feels efforts made by the police will further accomplish their goals toward truth and reconciliation. At the March 9 council meeting, Haynes, chair for the Saanich Police Board, interrupted the meeting to highlight the 2020 BC Association of Police Boards Conference hosted by the Saanich Police and Oak Bay Police on March 5 to 7.

The event hosted four Indigenous women panelists, which Haynes says is an important and key aspect of the event. The Indigenous panelists included Brenda Butterworth Carr, assistant deputy minister and director of police services; Claire marshal, Indigenous member of Vancouver Police Board; Tanya Clarmont, director of management services for the Victoria Native Friendship Centre; and Kim Baird, former Chief for Tsawwassen First Nations.

ALSO READ: Indigenous ceremony marks renaming of Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Haynes started his presentation by showing council a famous painting by Kent Monkman depicting a scene of Royal Canadian Mountie Police and clergy people violently removing Indigenous children from their homes. Haynes believes this speaks to the past relationship between police and Indigenous people.

Haynes feels that the type of approach to policing in the past is a very stressful approach that not only affects Indigenous people in a negative way but also has had negative affects on the well-being of the police.

ALSO READ: Join a cross-cultural celebration at One World 2020

In response to the recommendations from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry, the Saanich Police recently established an 11-member Indigenous Advisory Committee under the leadership of Insp. Todd Bryant.

“The Saanich Police Dept. acknowledge that the traditional Canadian colonial policing model has often overlooked Indigenous cultural traditions, and as a result created significant trust and confidence issues with many Indigenous people and their communities,” according to a statement from the Saanich Police to the mayor.

Haynes believes that with the continual efforts of the Saanich Police to consult with the Indigenous community, an outcome can be achieved that is not only better for First Nations but also for the police. “We are committed to doing all that we can to improve the relationship,” Haynes says.

Like us on Facebook, or send a tweet to @sarah_schuchard
and follow us on Instagram

Saanich Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fairfield gas station fire deemed arson

Police looking for witnesses, video of 2:30 a.m. April 5 fire

Sidney senior grateful for stranger’s help during medical incident

Hendrina Welter never caught a glimpse of the woman who helped her after she blacked out

Outreach initiative connects Sooke seniors to support amid COVID-19

Volunteers encouraged to sign up as need increases

Victoria company compares drone footage of city streets between August and now

Fewer cars, people seen on streets and at landmarks

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read