(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – October 24, 2018): This evening, Algoma University and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the University offer an educational training program, titled Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics (SHIFT) to all local police personnel.
“We are pleased to be entering into this significant partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service,” said Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University. “Given our special mission, we feel strongly about promoting positive, respectful, and inclusive relationships between police personnel and Indigenous peoples within Sault Ste. Marie and beyond. We are honoured to be conducting this crucial work on our campus that can eventually be made available to other communities in the province and across Canada to foster mutual understanding, respect, and safe interactions.”
SHIFT aims to bridge the gap between the police services and Indigenous communities by fostering an environment of greater cultural understanding and sensitivity towards Indigenous peoples and communities. Under the supervision of local elders and community members, SHIFT aims to effect positive change within Sault Ste. Marie, while promoting safe interactions between police personnel and Indigenous peoples.
“The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is eager to continue working with our partners in the Indigenous community and at Algoma University on this new and exciting learning opportunity,” said Deputy Chief Sean Sparling. “This innovative partnership will pave a path for future groups across the province, promoting a mutually beneficial relationship and learning experience. I would like to thank the Indigenous Advisory Group, the staff at Algoma University, and the members of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service for their leadership, and for their tireless efforts in creating this opportunity.”
The University will involve and engage the Indigenous community and other identified partners in the ongoing development of the SHIFT curriculum. Algoma will facilitate instruction both on- and off-campus.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service are generously supporting SHIFT through a $30,000 contribution to the development and piloting of the program for the 2018-2019 year.
A pilot offering will take place in November with full programming to commence in the spring of 2019.