Was the RCMP “reconciliation roadmap” shelved?

In 2018, the RCMP engaged Dr. Anita Olsen Harper to advise on how to incorporate a reconciliation-based approach with respect to the policing body’s historically-fraught relationship with Indigenous peoples. After a series of meetings with senior RCMP members at National Headquarters in Ottawa, Dr. Olsen Harper submitted her position paper, The RCMP: Cultural Transformation and Reconciliation, in late 2019. Those in charge acknowledged receipt, and after a brief review and some ambiguous correspondence about how it would be communicated, appear to have shelved it. It is worth mentioning that shortly after receiving the finished product, Commissioner Brenda Lucki stated over national television that systemic racism did not exist within the RCMP. 

In this paper, Dr. Olsen Harper eloquently takes the reader on a journey from the past  — where the seeds of destruction of Indigenous Nations by the North West Mounted Police were planted — to the present-day overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system. 

Olsen Harper then brings us into the future where Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples could live in mutual respect if the hard work of doing reconciliation based on truth-telling on an ongoing and consistent basis were undertaken. Olsen Harper highlights New Zealand as a comparative example of what can be done when settler/Indigenous stakeholders work together towards a common goal.

If, like us, you believe that this superbly researched paper deserves to be considered far more seriously by the RCMP, we urge you to contact RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki at Brenda.Lucki@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Correspondences will have even greater effect if you contact Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Justin.Trudeau@pm.gc.ca, the Honourable Bill Blair Bill.Blair@parl.gc.ca who oversees the RCMP, and the Honourable David Lametti David.Lametti@parl.gc.ca who is our Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Click here to link to the copy of the Position Paper, as it is unlikely that any of these people other than Commissioner Lucki have read it.

Let’s help to hold the RCMP accountable to *all* the communities it serves!

RCMP in combat gear: should reconciliation look like this?