Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca.
Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca.

Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca. Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca.

Surrey Police Board endorses ‘Indigenization Strategy’ for new police force

It aims to ensure First Nations “priorities and perspectives” are built into Surrey Police Service

Surrey’s Police Board has endorsed the development of an “Indigenization Strategy” that aims to ensure that the “priorities and perspectives” of local First Nations people are built into the foundation and policies of the Surrey Police Service, which is on track to replace the Surrey RCMP.

The board met Tuesday and its next meeting is set for Nov. 20.

Harley Chappell, chief of the Semiahmoo First Nation and chairman of the Surrey Police Board’s governance committee, presented the Indigenization Strategy to the board.

“My intention, when I started this, was in my eyes it was the municipality’s responsibility to engage in this consultation, but we as the board are the ones ensuring, as it has been stated, to do policing a little bit different here in the city,” Chappel said. “Ultimately, we’re the ones responsible for that as directors of the board.

“Really this is the template to begin that process,” he said.

homelessphoto

Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell. (City of White Rock)

Before the board voted, it heard presentations from Joanne Mills, executive director of the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Center Association and UBC Chancellor Steven Point.

Mills told the board that roughly 13,500 Indigenous people call Surrey home. “This is about 2.6 per cent of the total Surrey population,” she said. “Surrey has the fastest growing Indigenous population in B.C. and will surpass Vancouver by 2021 if growth trends continue. The majority of people identify as First Nations people, 56 per cent, followed by Metis at 40 per cent and Inuit, four per cent.”

Mills noted that of Surrey’s Indigenous population, about half is under age 27.

READ ALSO: Surrey Police Board to start ‘reporting publicly’ on budget numbers in November

Point looked at the relationship between Indigenous people and police from an historical perspective.

“It has never been a relationship borne on mutual consent, on mutual acceptance,” Point said. “Policing was brought here, as was all other colonial institutions, from Britain and simply imposed on Indigenous people. Indigenous people have never viewed or seen the policing system as their system.”

Chappell called this process a “critical first step towards reconciliation” and a “once in a lifetime opportunity to build Indigenous strategies, perspectives and priorities into the foundation of a policing model rather that imposing an existing policing structure on Indigenous communities.”

They City of Surrey is on the traditional territory of the Semiahmoo and Katzie people. The report that came before the board Tuesday said the Indigenization Strategy will outline “key considerations in how the partners move forward and provide an outline of a proposed approach for engagement with Indigenous members of the community on public safety and policing issues.”

It will also provide an overview of legal requirements for the police board related to “consultation and accommodation” of Indigenous groups.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyPolice

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

Just Posted

Elections BC has sent out almost 700,000 mail voting packages as of Oct. 14 with just under 3.5 million registered voters. (Black Press Media File)
Abbotsford South and West ridings see more than 16,000 votes cast ahead of election

More than a third of all votes have likely been cast already

Students at Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020. (Katie Glover/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Students cast a ballot for Langley candidates

Brookswood Secondary participated in Student Vote 2020

Voting locations in Langley for the 2020 BC provincial election. (Google)
MAP: Voting locations in Langley

Sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Aldergrove legion Branch 265 president Doug Hadley presents a poppy to Langley Township mayor Jack Froese. (Madeline Roach/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Poppy sales begin at Aldergrove legion branch #265

Branch president Doug Hadley shared the poem Who is a Veteran to begin the time of remembrance

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Most Read