M’CHIGEENG—UCCM Anishnaabe Police was pleased to announce earlier this month the hire of Daughness Migwans as the new social navigator. Ms. Migwans will be part of a new pilot program to work with at-risk individuals and repeat offenders on Manitoulin and connect them with partner organizations.
UCCM Chief of Police Rodney Nahwegahbow explained that the position is a milestone in addressing offender recidivism and crime prevention, utilizing innovative strategies and broadening the participation of other UCCMM service providers.
The new social navigator position is part of an exciting pilot program developed by the UCCM Anishnaabe Police with the assistance of many external organizations and is funded through a three-year funding commitment by the Federal Ministry of Public Safety and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Ms. Migwans will work with at-risk individuals, as well as with repeat offenders in the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising (UCCMM) service area, providing support to the individuals in order to reduce their dependence on the judicial and hospital systems by steering them to the appropriate community organizations through the Maawi Naadamadaa Community Mobilization HUB Model (for assistance to improve their overall health, safety and quality of life.)
“Ms. Migwans has started her new job last week and is very well suited for the new role,” said Chief Nahwegahbow.
Ms. Migwans is from M’Chigeeng First Nation and has worked in the mental health and addiction field for a number of years.
She holds her bachelors of social work from Laurentian University and has been working with the Maamwi Naadamadaa Community Mobilization HUB Model most recently. In her new role, Ms. Migwans will actually serve as the head coordinator of Maamwi Naadamadaa and work as a liaison between the group and the UCCM Police.
Maamwi Naadamadaa, meaning ‘Let’s Work Together,’ is a UCCMM initiative to connect UCCMM First Nation organizations and service departments in an effort to better support UCCMM members.
Maamwi Naadamadaa is supported by all the service organizations within the UCCMM area including the UCCMM Tribal Council, Kenjgwein Teg Educational Institute, UCCM Anishnaabe Police, UCCMM Justice Department, Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services, Ojbway Cultural Foundation, Noojmowin Teg Health Services, Mnaamodzawin Health Services and M’Chigeeng Health Services.
“I have always had an interest in the community and creating a safe network to help individuals in need. Providing assistance is not just a single sector role,” Ms. Migwans told The Expositor. “I think it is important to connect people with various organizations that can assist them and support them, regardless of how they come into the system. To me, the position just seemed like a natural fit. This program can really lead to positive changes for individuals and the community as a whole.”
Ms. Migwans will be supported in her new role by UCCM Police Community Services Officer (CSO) Constable Murray Still.
Senior Constable Still has been with the UCCM Police for 19 years, but the role of CSO is new for the seasoned officer.
“I will be providing Ms. Migwans with support and helping identify at risk individuals in the community who could benefit from program,” said CSO Still.
Chief Nahwegahbow, CSO Still and Ms. Migwans will be travelling to Saskatchewan next month for a site visit with the Prince Albert Police Department. The Prince Albert Police Department has successfully developed and implemented a community mobilization network and the UCCM Police team will be gathering information to help structure the guidelines of the program locally.