The president of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada met with the RCMP commissioner on Friday to insist on changes that will bring about “a fundamental shift in how Northern policing is carried out to address the pervasiveness and severity of the violence experienced by Inuit women.”
Pauktuutit has drafted 15 recommendations in a report title Addressing Gendered Violence Against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat. Among the transformations that the organization wants to see are culturally competent and trauma-informed policing; the creation of Inuit advisory committees; the establishment of gender-based policing protocols and gender-based violence training for RCMP members; having female officers present for statement-taking in cases of violence against women; and the overall adoption of a decolonized approach grounded in Inuit knowledge and world views.
“We were encouraged by our discussion with RCMP Commissioner (Brenda) Lucki as she seems to have a solid grasp of Pauktuutit’s policing recommendations and a genuine desire to concretely move them forward,” said Pauktuutit President Rebecca Kudloo. “We are also glad to hear about her openness towards the establishment of an MOU (memorandum of understanding) between Pauktuutit and the RCMP.
“Overall, I came out of the meeting feeling that Commissioner Lucki and I share a common goal of wanting to ensure the safety and security of Inuit women and children,” Kudloo added. “We have now committed to speaking regularly and I look forward to continuing to work with her to achieve these critical safety and justice reforms which will have a significant impact on Inuit women and children. It is a step in the right direction towards reconciliation.”
Lucki said open communication is key to positive relationships.
“The RCMP and Pauktuutit both want to see the recruitment of more Inuit as police officers and employees, and embed important cultural perceptions training as mandatory learning for all our members who work in Inuit Nunangat communities,” Lucki stated.
In its Tuesday news release, Pauktuutit stated that it’s also aiming to work with governments that have jurisdiction for contracted policing in Inuit Nunangat and that preliminary communication with the Government of Nunavut emphasized the need for policing policies and procedures that increase the safety of women and children.
There also needs to be a culture shift take place within communities so that, when a handicapped person who comes forward and files a report after being sexually abused over time, does not become ostracized by the community. Same as when someone is willing to Come forward and witness in a court case. I have supported both types of people myself and it was an extremely lonely road for them.