B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)

Historic agreement between Fraser Valley FN communities, RCMP to expand Indigenous role in policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

More than a dozen Indigenous groups in the Fraser Valley have partnered with the RCMP as part of an agreement to bring more safety, communication and policing services to their communities.

The Community Safety Agreement was finalized after months of meetings with 14 Fraser Valley First Nations communities and the RCMP.

“Leading a grass roots initiative takes guts, trust, efficacy, tenacity, with focus and an open mind for a better life for our people, for all people,” said Chief James Hobart of Spuzzum First Nation. “I’m extremely proud of our assemblage and what we have accomplished. Kʷukʷstemc, Hromtik’en Kwakosen.”

Prior to this agreement, of the 24 First Nations communities served by the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD), 15 had no agreement with the RCMP concerning policing services and the cultural expectations of the individual communities, according to Friday’s (March 5) RCMP release.

In 2018, Cpl. Chris Gosselin and Supt. Bryon Massie, the Officer-in-Charge of the UFVRD RCMP, became aware of the need to engage Indigenous communities not served by Community Tri-Partite Agreements (CTA).

For months, the RCMP and a committee of four First Nations chiefs representing the 15 communities – Chief James Hobart (Spuzzum), Chief Maurine Chapman (Skwahlook), Chief Derek Epp (Tzeachten) and Chief Mark Point (Skowkale) – worked to iron out gaps in service and formally outline what the First Nations expected from the police. Fourteen of the 15 affected communities endorsed an agreement.

“In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, this agreement solidifies our commitment to one another to provide safe Indigenous communities,” said Cpl. Gosselin who oversees the first Urban Indigenous Policing Section in B.C. for the RCMP.

Together, with Const. Jaden Courtney, the team delivers enhanced Indigenous policing services to Indigenous communities on behalf of the UFVRD.

From left: Cpl. Chris Gosselin, Supt. Bryon Massie, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher, Supt. Julie Dedecker, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief James Hobart. (RCMP)

From left: Cpl. Chris Gosselin, Supt. Bryon Massie, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher, Supt. Julie Dedecker, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief James Hobart. (RCMP)

“The successful creation and adoption of this partnership, stems from our desire to ensure that the needs of Indigenous communities are not only heard but are delivered,” Supt. Bryon Massie said. “It demonstrates our commitment to work together to improve communication, enhance public safety and provide high quality service to the Indigenous communities within the UFVRD.”

“We were given a clear mandate from our membership to build a relationship with the RCMP that consists of trust, communication and prevention,” said Chief Derek Epp of Tzeachten First Nation. “I believe the collaborative approach that went into developing the Community Safety Agreement has achieved this mandate from our membership. This type of agreement can be considered best practice for First Nations across this province.”

Chief Hobart expressed thanks to the 14 communities involved.

“We humbly hold our hands up to you for the trust that you placed in us. We are proud to represent our communities,” he said.

Chief Chapman said she’s “proud” of the work accomplished.

“We remained focused on the wellbeing of our communities and committed to an honest and respectful working relationship with our partners in the RCMP,” she said.

The communities involved in this agreement include Members of both Stó:lō Nation and Nlaka`pamux Nation.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read