Today we were very pleased to launch our 4th annual “Mooz Akinonmaaget Maa Aki” mentorship program in partnership with Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Services, Nogdawindamin Family & Community Services, Kina Gbezhgomi Child & Family Services, Children’s Aid Society, Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, Restorative Justice Sudbury and the Crown’s Office. group of police officers and youth standing and smiling

Spear-headed by Cst. Darrell Rivers, GSPS Indigenous Liaison Officer, this initiative aims to assist in building positive relationships between Youth and GSPS Officers based on mutual respect, cultural awareness and inclusivity.

Each Youth is paired with a GSPS Officer and agency mentor for a moose hunt which will take place over the course of a weekend in September. Based on traditional Anishnawbek values through the Seven Grandfather Teachings, the program includes activities such as hunting education, firearms safety, First Aid, Tactical demonstrations, the Moose Hunt and teachings on gratitude and giving thanks.

The various components of the initiative will be delivered by Elders, mentors and GSPS Members, supporting the participants and allowing them to take control of their own environment. This will allow participants to forge their own pathway to wellness through self-directed wellness strategies and goal setting.

Through spending quality time together in nature, the Officers and Youth will be given the opportunity to learn from one another about their culture and life perspectives, fostering inclusivity and a sense of mutual respect.

Being a Police Officer is not just about making arrests and holding offenders accountable; it is also about establishing community trust through positive interactions. Our youth are the leaders of today and tomorrow. It’s important to lift them up and create healthy atmospheres and experiences for them to gain confidence, life skills and teamwork.

The program is designed to promote the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental well-being of youth.

Above all else, we thank the Youth for their courage to participate in this program.

GSPS is committed to working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples and community partners in recognizing truths and continuing towards meaningful change in Greater Sudbury. We know that there is much work to be done and that this program is just one small step in the right direction!