Onion Lake RCMP is releasing gang awareness and prevention resources in partnership with Onion Lake Cree Nation. Materials include videos, an information booklet and posters.
The Gang Awareness and Prevention (GAP) Project was developed and implemented by a RCMP Community Program Officer, in consultation with several community members, including Chief and Council, Elders, youth, parents, former gang members and service providers. The information booklet and posters are available in English, French, Cree, Michif and Dene with the assistance from community partners in Onion Lake Cree Nation, Île-à-la-Crosse and La Loche. The project is funded by the Government of Saskatchewan’s Rural Crime Innovation Fund and resources were showcased at a community event last summer.
“The Cree word, māmawikamātotān, which means working together for our communities, reflects the collaboration and dedication needed to complete this project.” says Laili Yazdani, Crime Prevention/Crime Reduction Unit’s Community Program Officer. “Gangs create and thrive on fear and intimidation in communities. This project is a good example of how we can address some of these issues by working together.” The Chief of Onion Lake Cree Nation says it is never too late to inspire and motivate the youth.
“I am very honoured and proud to be Okimaw of Onion Lake Cree Nation when I hear about projects like the GAP project,” says Chief Henry Lewis. “Hiy Hiy in the spirit of empowering our future leaders.”
There are five videos, each one focuses on specific messages for community members. “I think everyone should try doing these type of videos. They’re fun and you’ll feel included in something that everyone can work on as a team,” says Carlin Carter- Mountain, a youth featured in one of the videos.
Delia Waskewitch asks parents to focus on decision-making skills. “Teach children to make decisions. Learn from kindness, follow your heart, control your body, and listen to your mind and spirit,” says Waskewitch.
The information booklet was developed for parents and caregivers. A group of youth also completed a musical theatre workshop with Persephone Theatre, based in Saskatoon. The group performed the No More Hustling musical for their parents, high school and community. Resources will be gradually released on the Onion Lake RCMP Facebook page and the RCMP Youtube channel, and available upon request by contacting the Crime Prevention/Crime Reduction Unit. Those pages are: www.facebook.com/OnionLakeRCMP/ and www.youtube.com/user/rcmpgrcsk