Northern Saskatchewan will be represented on the committee selecting candidates for the RCMP’s top job.
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band was announced by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale as one of nine people selecting a new commissioner.
“I feel honoured to be part of the selection process for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” Cook-Searson said. “Being in the room, and being in the interview process, it means that [Indigenous] voices will be at the table.”
Cook-Searson joins Gina Wilson, the Deputy Minister of the Status of Women, as Indigenous representation on the selection comittee.
The chief said she’s using her experiences with the RCMP in La Ronge to aide her in making a decision. She said issues like communication, relationship building and topics raised in the interim report into the national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be discussed through the process.
“There’s other reports out there; there’s internal issues too, that have been in the media. Things like harassment, those have to be dealt with too,” she said.
Cook-Searson said many of the candidates who have already applied for the top RCMP job are very qualified and dedicated individuals who are ready and willing to take the role on. She said she will be looking at individuals who show an understanding of the diversity of communities with a solid understanding of the relationship between Indigenous communities and the RCMP.
The RCMP commissioner is responsible for public safety, employees and officers within the organizations ranks and public accountability.
Cook-Searson said the process she’s involved in includes screening and interviewing candidates before making a collective decision to recommend three to five individuals. The recommendations are then passed along to Goodale who makes the final decision and passes the name to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for appointment.
On twitter: @BryanEneas
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