Police academy, in the style of Nunavut youth
"We get to learn a lot about the RCMP”
In sleds loaded with camping supplies, about 30 RCMP youth academy students waited patiently May 14 to start their 20-kilometre snowmobile day trip, part of the RCMP “V” division’s third installment of its youth outreach effort.
The joint RCMP-Canadian Ranger program is designed to teach high school students aged 16 to 21 about policing.
But it’s also intended to teach police and students about traditional knowledge.
The skills everyone will learn are important, “especially when we are out on the land all the time,” said Ranger Cpl. Paul Nuyalia.
On May 14 the Rangers planned to teach search and rescue techniques, wilderness first aid, and how to set up a runway in an emergency. And they were to teach the program’s 32 participants how to set up a camp, as well as bring them to the campsite.
An elder also planned to travel to the camp as well to teach the youth how to tie knots and other useful things.
While she waited to get underway, participant Beth Idlout-Kheraj said she’s excited by the day’s events.
“I’m looking forward to doing all the cultural activities. I really enjoy those things because I don’t get to do much of them on a daily basis,” she said.
Idlout-Kheraj said joining the RCMP has always been one of her options for when she finishes high school.
“We get to learn a lot about the RCMP and what they do, what they do for Nunavut and what they do in our community,” she said.
And to get out on the land and learn about policing is great — “So far, I’m thinking about it. I’d like to go,” Idlout-Kheraj said.
“I love it out here,” she added.
During the program, a partnership between the Canadian Forces Joint Task Force, Nunavut’s education department and the RCMP, students learn teamwork, physical fitness, the law, basic officer safety principles and defence tactics.
“The youth academy aims at encouraging Nunavut’s young residents to be a very important partner in establishing safer schools and communities,” the RCMP’s commanding officer for Nunavut, Steve McVarnock, said in a news release about the program. “These kids, who are in fact our leaders of tomorrow, will experience realistic training scenarios, build their self-esteem, discipline, self-confidence and an understanding of law enforcement.”
The youth academy will end with a graduation ceremony and certificate presentation by Supt. McVarnock at the Inuksuk High School on May 18 at 10:30 a.m.. It’s open to the public.