RCMP detachments across Alberta will begin displaying Treaty Land Acknowledgements plaques to remind their staff and community members about the importance of the territory they live and work in.
The RCMP is celebrating the diversity of the Metis, Inuit, and First Nations culture from May 25 to 28, acknowledging Indigenous Awareness Week.
The week's celebration is part of a continued commitment to reconciliation efforts with communities and cultural leaders.
"Our reconciliation strategy, in consultation with our Indigenous communities, includes important things like adopting an eagle feather to swear oaths, increasing restorative justice practices, cultural awareness training for employees, recruiting, youth initiatives, and building upon the Commanding Officer's Indigenous Advisory Committee," said a release from the Alberta RCMP.
Employees and clients at RCMP detachments have the option to swear legal oaths on an eagle feather since fall 2020, as part of the RCMP's Eagle Feather Protocol.
The eagle is considered a sacred symbol of spirituality and is used in many Indigenous traditions and ceremonies, and the feathers can work as a comfort element for clients when providing statements or interacting with employees at detachments, says the RCMP.
Although due to the current year’s restrictions, the RCMP has been unable to schedule any events for Indigenous Awareness Week.
The Alberta RCMP reconciliation strategy includes cultural awareness training for employees and increasing restorative justice practices.
Alberta RCMP went on to say they will be celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in June as part of their path forward to listening to the Indigenous people of Alberta.
Along with the future celebration in June, the Alberta RCMP said they have also acknowledged and held an online event for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls (MMIWG) on May 5 with hopes of raising further awareness.
The Siksika Day of Hope-Honouring life was also an event acknowledged by the RCMP in a release after the Siksikahas have endured a challenging year of losses in their community due to suicide, overdoses, and general health issues.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News