Today, Chief Pedersen and the entire GSPS family are pleased to welcome Taryn Michel, Indigenous Training Program Developer. Taryn is from Michipicoten First Nations, born and raised in Greater Sudbury. She worked at the N’Swakamok Native Friendship Centre for seven years as the Indigenous Family and Youth Court Worker. Taryn always wanted a career in law and made the decision to go to Law School in 2019. Her goal is to help the Indigenous community by addressing the over representation of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian justice system and jails.

Taryn’s goal as the Indigenous Training Program Developer is to create awareness within the Police Service of Indigenous laws and legal orders that all Indigenous Peoples have within their own territories and First Nations. She hopes to share her knowledge, education and experience with our Members to help nurture the positive relationship that exists between GSPS and Indigenous communities in Greater Sudbury and the surrounding area.

The role of the Indigenous Training Program Developer is extremely important to our Police Service as it will provide our Members with a greater understanding of the Indigenous voice, perspective and shared history through increased traditional training and education. We are a learning organization rooted in our RICH values of Respect, Inclusivity, Courage and Honesty and if we are being honest, we have to acknowledge that the first contact Police had with Indigenous Peoples was very negative. For many years we have been working in collaboration with our community partners to break down barriers and forge positive, respectful relationships with the Indigenous community.

The Indigenous Training Program Developer working in collaboration with our Aboriginal Liaison Officer will develop and deliver programming to our Members building empathy, understanding and compassion to meet the needs of the communities we serve. It is important that we continue to build upon the grassroots approach undertaken during the creation of the Looking Ahead to Build the Spirit of Our Women – Learning to Live Free from Violence Project in order to ensure community consultation and input in order to achieve our ultimate goal of being seen as Helpers and as Protectors.

We are extremely excited about this new endeavor and we look forward to open dialogue and hard truths in order to continue to improve our service delivery.