The Greater Sudbury Police Service and the Police Mkwa Opportunity Education Circle
With the support of the former Chief of Police, Alex McCauley, Grant Dokis the Aboriginal Liaison Officer met with Elders Loretta Peltier and Ray Kinoshameg to discuss a foundation to build a positive relationship with the Aboriginal Community and the Greater Sudbury Police Service.
With the efforts of Cst. Grant Dokis, invitations were sent throughout the Urban Aboriginal community and surrounding First Nations Community to participate in a visioning exercise that would begin the relationship building. From these initial gatherings and discussion the Aboriginal Community/Police Advisory Committee (ACPAC) was formed in January 2000.
Initial discussions and trust building began with Chief Alex McCauley and ACPAC and with the commitment to address issues and improving the relationship between the police service and the Aboriginal community. The partnership was birthed.
Funding proposal submission to the National Crime Prevention Strategy - Community Mobilization Program to develop and conduct an Aboriginal Needs Assessment Survey to determine what programming was required to address the needs of Aboriginal people living in the City of Greater Sudbury. The proposal was approved and the Aboriginal Community Needs Assessment commenced in mid-September 2002. In July 2002, ACPAC was pleased to have Chief Ian Davidson continue the work of the ACPAC and its community partnership building. With the expiration of the original funding, Chief Davidson authorized 8 months of police funding to ensure Ms. Nancy Cada could complete the necessary work.
In December 2003, the ACPAC issued its Aboriginal Community Needs Assessment report. The report summarized the survey results and contained twelve recommendations intended to address the development of future programming for Aboriginal persons residing in the City of Greater Sudbury and to address the enhancement of Aboriginal-police relations, Aboriginal awareness training, and Aboriginal youth-police relations. Immediately after the release, Chief Davidson acknowledged these recommendations and working with ACPAC to begin the implementation process of the twelve recommendations.
September 2004 from the implementation discussion, Chief Davidson requested Rainbow District School Board, community leaders, police officers, and ACPAC attend the police service building for a meeting to develop the Police MKWA opportunity Education Circle Mentorship Program.
Rainbow District School Board submitted a Learning to 18 proposal to Ministry of Education and received funding of approximately $200 000 to develop specific academic programming and to showcase the program. Chief Davidson authorized thousands of hours of police time and resources to ensure successful use of funding dollars.
In April 2005, the Police Mkwa Opportunity Education Circle was officially unveiled.
2008 - 2009
Police Mkwa Opportunity Education Circle has broadened the program to mentor students from all four Sudbury school Boards: Sudbury Catholic School Board, Rainbow District School Board, Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario, and Conseil scolaire public Grand Nord de l'ontario.