M’CHIGEENG – The UCCM Anishnaabe Police was advised on June 24 that a funding proposal was approved entitled ‘Lighting the Fire Within.’ The idea surrounding this proposal was to help reduce risk factors associated with domestic violence and facilitate the creation of safer, stronger and healthier First Nations communities.
The data recorded on domestic violence over the course of eight years was reviewed in the six First Nations communities serviced by the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service and showed that it was almost six times above the provincial average. This data further suggested that there is a need to strengthen services and develop interventions focusing on reducing risk factors and addressing the root causes of domestic violence. The proposal will arrive as a multi-year contribution agreement.
Building on existing community structures and mechanisms, the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service seeks to: Strengthen its ability to respond to incidents of domestic violence and stem the escalation of non-criminal domestic disputes in a culturally and trauma-sensitive manner, in the hope of limiting re-victimization and address problems in their infancy before violent behaviours escalate and criminal charges are issued; and facilitate the development of a sport-based program targeting children, adolescents and young people (including adolescent survivors/perpetrators of domestic violence) with a focus on promoting healthy living, positive relationships, life-skills and enhancing engagement between Police Officers children and adolescents.
Police Chief Rodney Nahwegahbow acknowledges the important role that women have in the First Nations communities.
“We need to expand the police response to incidents of domestic violence and to do so in a culturally appropriate way so that it contributes to an improved quality of life,” he says. “Further, this will help us start to align with the recommendations from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.”