Drumheller RCMP seek minority voices for diversity committee

·2 min read

Minority groups have raised their voices over the last year to speak out against the discrimination and systemic racism they have faced, and the Drumheller RCMP are looking to help dismantle these barriers through a new Community Diversity Advisory Committee.

The committee will work to advise the local RCMP and help provide opportunities to ensure all members of the community are served equally and not discriminated against based on ethnicity, culture, race, language, accent, or religion.

“I want it geared to policing services,” said S/Sgt Bourque in a press release. “I want to get the conversation started on what they expect of policing services, whether and where they feel we are providing excellent services, and where they feel it is lacking.”

S/Sgt Bourque has over 25 years experience in the force and has seen first-hand the struggles minority groups face when it comes to discrimination and unfair treatment.

Although cultural awareness training is available to officers, and the RCMP commissioner has acknowledged the role RCMP has played in systemic racism, S/Sgt Bourque says they can still do better.

He adds acts of discrimination are close to the community and hopes, through the committee, officers will not miss out on the harassment these visible minority groups face.

S/Sgt Bourque shares the various ceremonies held at the local RCMP detachment, including the Treaty 7 Acknowledgment and the addition of an eagle feather for Indigenous community members to swear legal documents, have been very important first steps.

“I encourage everyone, to have a good blend from all groups, so we can tap into the full demographic,” S/Sgt Bourque tells the Mail. “We have a wonderfully diverse community here.”

The Drumheller RCMP are looking for some six to eight people from visible minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities, to be part of the advisory committee; S/Sgt Bourque estimates the time commitment involved will be a one-hour meeting per month.

Those interested in being part of the committee can contact the Drumheller Policing Committee at 403-823-7590, or at kdrumhellerservices@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

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