AOK citizen joins national police governance board

Peter (Benji) Nahwegahbo

AUNDECK OMNI KANING – When it comes to public service, Peter (Benji) Nahwegahbo said he always recalls the advice he received from former grand council chief Pat Madahbee when he first took up public office as a rookie councillor. “Pat told me that you are not going to get anything done by sitting on your butt,” recalled the Aundeck Omni Kaning resident. “You’ve got to occupy the field. Be visible, get out there and let them see you.”

Mr. Nahwegahbo took that advice to heart, going on to serve for 10 years on the Aundeck Omni Kaning band council and continuing on as a representative on the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Police Commission. He has now been elected to the Canadian Association of Police Governance Board (CAPG).

“The UCCM Police Commission congratulates Peter Nahwegahbo, who was elected at the (CAPG) board of directors’ 31st annual general meeting on Saturday, October 31,” reads an announcement posted last Monday.

The CAPG works “collaboratively and proactively with members and partners to enhance municipal police governance. CAPG is particularly well-suited as the primary aggregate for best practices, studies and reports in the police governance sector. Over the years, CAPG has developed robust working relationships with a number of stakeholder agencies, ensuring it is always at the forefront of the latest trends in policing and police governance models,” according to its mission statement.

“It’s great,” responded Mr. Nahwegahbo when asked how he felt upon being elected to the CAPG board and executive. “(It is) a good step forward for our board and our police service.”

Mr. Nahwegahbo has been working in a consultative capacity as a resource development co-ordinator and has spent much of his career working with chief and council in Aundeck Omni Kaning to develop policy and laws for the community. “We have to keep an eye on vital resources,” he said. 

That experience will stand him in good stead as he brings another Indigenous voice to the table at the nation’s premier police governance board.