Tuesday, Nov 05, 2019
1:30pm - 3:30pm
There are lots of conversations happening nation-wide about reconciliation; what it means, and if it can ever happen in the face of so many ongoing injustices continuing to be lived by Indigenous peoples. One thing that is true is that Indigenous and Settler peoples do not live the same lives and they cannot be assured of receiving the “same” when it comes to policing services. Many people in society are able to say that the police are there to protect and create safety. They might even say, “I can expect when I call the police that they will respond quickly and effectively to resolve my concerns and needs.” Contrastingly, Indigenous peoples experience disproportionately higher numbers of violence, underprotection, mistrust, and low confidence in police interactions and responses to calls for help. Their story is likely, “don’t call the police” and “never get into the back seat of a police cruiser.” Examining the ideology that embeds policing policies and practices (as with all societal institutions) reveals systemic colonialism and racism. Is change possible? I believe so; but it will require seeing the humanity in one another, challenging preconceived notions and assumptions about Indigenous peoples, and learning what one did not know.