OPP commissioner receives rare Indigenous honour
ORILLIA, ONT. -- Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique received a rare offering of thanks from members of the province's Indigenous community.
Carrique was gifted a staff and eagle feathers for his organization's work on cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, which have too often been ignored in Canada's history.
The OPP has a dedicated team, made up mainly of Indigenous officers, to implement calls from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and look at reopening cold cases.
"It's really re-evaluating and rethinking how we do our work, and making it more centred around the victim and the families of victims who are looking for these answers from us," Brooke McRoberts, acting sergeant of the service's Indigenous Policing Bureau, told CTV National News.
There are an estimated 4,000 missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and it's time to right the previous wrongs, says OPP liaison officer Todd Showan.
"[We hope to] identify some of the misgivings or the problems with the investigations of the past," he told CTV National News.
Elsewhere in the country, the RCMP has started a social media campaign bringing attention to 11 cases of missing and murdered women and girls, such as Samantha Hiebert, who was last seen more than two years ago in Manitoba.
In Winnipeg, the city police service recently hired its first Indigenous family support and resource advocate.
"I want to make sure that I'm engaging with families meaningfully," Angie Tuesday told CTV News.
All of these efforts are an attempt to create trust between groups where there's been nothing but distrust for decades.
The goal is for Indigenous women and girls to feel safe instead of being targets of violence.