Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 05, 2012 - 6:47 am

Nunavut youth get ready for summer jobs with RCMP

“I’m really proud of each and every one of you”

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Nunavut police experience graduate Nicole Panipakoocho, 17, said she plans to join the RCMP one day and looks forward to her work as an RCMP summer student in Iqaluit over the next eight weeks. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)
Nunavut police experience graduate Nicole Panipakoocho, 17, said she plans to join the RCMP one day and looks forward to her work as an RCMP summer student in Iqaluit over the next eight weeks. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

Sixteen youth from across Nunavut stood side-by-side in the Legislative Assembly lobby July 4, marking the end of a week-long training period for the RCMP’s Nunavut Police Experience Program

The summer students will now start eight-week jobs in their respective communities.

At the graduation, Chief Supt. Steve McVarnock presented certificates and congratulated the group.

“I’m really proud of each and every one of you,” he said.

The police experience program introduces students to low-risk, non-emergency situations where the students become familiar with RCMP duties.

They learn teamwork, defence tactics, drug awareness, handcuff procedures, firearms safety and forensics. 

So far, 61 graduates have passed through the program in the past four years.

Two months ago, 25 cadets attended the RCMP’s youth academy training camp. Many of them continued on to summer student jobs.

“I know that will continue with the fine young men and women here today,” McVarnock said.

Some cadets have already told McVarnock that they eventually want to join the RCMP.

Once the students head back to their communities to start their jobs, they will face tremendous responsibility, he said.

“How you conduct yourselves will be under a microscope,” McVarnock said, adding, “I ask you to be very mindful of that.”

Rebekah Williams, an assistant deputy minister of justice at the Nunavut government, said the young people shouldn’t worry about whether working for the RCMP is in line with Inuit culture.

“It is very much [the] Inuit way, because everybody wants to have a community that is safe and secure,” she said.

The bottom line, she told them, is community safety.

“You are role models in your community. Just think about community safety.”

Nicole Panipakoocho, 17, originally from Pond Inlet, is going into her second year as a summer student in Iqaluit. 

She said she enjoys the work and learned more this year than last year.

And one day, she wants to join the RCMP. “This is what I want to do,” she said.

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