Waterloo Regional Police Service is Proud to Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

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June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day and the Waterloo Regional Police Service is proud to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe and Neutral People. We recognize the enduring presence of the Indigenous people with whom we share this land today, their achievements and their contributions to our community. We offer this acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation between Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Through the leadership and guidance of Constable Cynthia Martin, and other officers with Indigenous heritage, the Police Service focuses on creating positive and meaningful relationships with the First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Waterloo Region.

The Police Services’ commitment to improving and building partnerships surrounding equity, inclusion, and diversity within the community is stronger than ever.

Having obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work (Indigenous Field of Study), Constable Martin is dedicated to sharing her learnings and facilitating meaningful connections between the First Nation, Metis and Inuit community and the Police Service. She has also guided two students from the graduate program as their placement supervisor.

Constable Martin continues to learn about her mixed Mi’maw heritage with family ancestry tracing back many generations from Newfoundland and New Brunswick area.

A police officer for nearly two decades, Constable Martin is currently assigned to the Wellbeing Waterloo Region initiative.

“We are a diverse and connected network working together to make transformational change in wellbeing within our diverse community. We are able to impact wellbeing together in a way we are unable to do alone,” said Constable Martin.

In this role, Constable Martin researches and collaborates with community leaders to share resources for community development and education, organizes training opportunities, and co-convenes the First Nations, Metis and Inuit Advocacy and Advisory Circle. She also liaises with the Police Service and the community on various initiatives as it relates to the First Nation, Metis and Inuit community.

Members of our Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID) Team and the Ambassador Team understand the importance of building community relationships and participate in numerous events each year and spend hundreds of hours volunteering, including taking part in activities such as local cultural events and festivals. 

Since 2012, the Waterloo Regional Police Chorus has participated in Building Community through Song alongside the Mino ode Kwewak N’Gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers) to build bridges of friendship and reconciliation through song. Constable Martin has been a part of Mino ode Kwewak N’Gamowak for the last several years.

In 2016, 30 members from Police Service, along with approximately 170 community members, participated in the “Reconciliation Leading the Way” canoe trip at Kiwanis Park in Kitchener. Organizers of the event were from several agencies including, The Healing of the Seven Generations, Anishnabeg Outreach Inc., Kitchener-Waterloo Urban Wigwam Project, White Owl Native Ancestry, Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative (SOADI), Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB) and Waterloo Regional Police Service. 

Since 2017, Constable Martin has co-lead a unique campaign where WRPS members donate free feminine hygiene products for women in northern Indigenous communities. The women can then can use their money to pay for the scarce and higher priced food items in Norther Ontario. In 2017, with the help of other Police Service members, they collected 10,000 individual items in two months.

In recognition of Constable Martin’s leadership and involvement in building relationships with First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Waterloo Region, she was recently awarded the Chief’s Diversity Award.

WRPS officers continue to receive training on trauma informed investigations and conferences including ones through the Ontario Police College, such as the annual Crimes Against Women Conference: Human Trafficking and Ending Violence against Indigenous Women. 

The EID Team has also implemented Indigenous history training for all Police Service members.

Our commitment to the community is highlighted in our 2018-2020 Operations Plan. The Police Service has established a working group to identify and implement police specific Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Our Police Service is ever evolving, much like Waterloo Region. We are committed to reconciliation and working with community members to improve our service so that everyone feels safe.

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