UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service receives funding for Lighting the Fire Within program

SUDBURY – The UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service will receive up to $1 million in funding from the federal government for its Lighting the Fire Within program.

Women’s organizations provide vital services in our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long, they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women’s organizations are the lifeblood of women’s movements and maintain and growing the ability of these organizations to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.

That’s why on Monday, Paul Lefebvre, MP for Sudbury, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the government of Canada will invest up to $2.7 million in seven women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Northern Ontario.

Those organizations receiving funding includes the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service.

“In making these historic investments, we recognize the women and women’s organizations that have long been breaking through barriers, and we express our gratitude to them for what has often been decades of important work on little more than a shoestring budget,” said Minister Monsef. “The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for too long for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work. Our government listened. I am proud now, that with stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in Northern Ontario grow and endure, because we know that investing in women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women is the most effective way to advance gender equality. By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities and creating lasting change that benefits everyone.”

The UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service will receive funding of up to $1 million for their project Lighting the Fire Within. The police service will reduce risk factors and incidents of domestic violence in Anishinaabe communities on Manitoulin Island through the introduction of three interconnected police service initiatives. Anishinabek police officers will receive trauma-informed training to ensure their responses to incidents of domestic violence are appropriate and will also learn how to prevent survivors from being re-victimized by the reporting process or ensuing legal proceedings. A mandatory culturally sensitive training program targeting non-criminal offenders will be developed and facilitated to prevent the escalation of domestic disputes in the communities. Finally, a sports-based program targeting children and youth will be developed and implemented to promote healthy living and the development of positive relationships with police officers.

The United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising Tribal Council began the proposal for a regional police service for Manitoulin Island in the early 1990s. In 1995, a formal tripartite agreement between the council and federal and provincial governments created the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service. The service is a community partner for safety and wellness and provides culturally sensitive service while respecting existing laws, customs and traditions.

“The Government of Canada’s investment into our police service will help create the necessary social and systemic change required for people and police to fully understand that violence of any kind hurts everyone in the community. In partnership with other local police services, we will learn better ways to counter incidents of domestic violence and help to make a safer place for all First Nations on Manitoulin Island,” said Rodney Nahwegahbow, Chief of Police of UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service.