Surrey RCMP officers and staff participate in Aboriginal canoe journey
Surrey RCMP is proud to be a partner of the 2015 Pulling Together Canoe Journey, hosted by the Semiahmoo First Nation. The journey started on July 2, 2015 on Harrison Lake and will complete on July 10, 2015 at Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey.
The Pulling Together Canoe Journey was started in 2001 by now retired RCMP Staff Sergeant Ed Hill. Hill understood the benefit of police officers working with First Nations peoples and wanted to improve police relations with First Nations communities. Over the years the Pulling Together Canoe Journey has brought together local First Nations communities and public service agencies during this annual cultural trip.
Eight Surrey RCMP police officers and municipal employees will be paddling at some point during the 100 mile journey, along with 500 others.
One of the participants is Surrey RCMP Constable Troy Derrick, who works out of the South Surrey District Office in First Nations Policing and will be paddling in his ninth Pulling Together Canoe Journey.
“Each year is like a family reunion for me, reconnecting with various communities from all over the province,” says Cst. Derrick, a member of the Gitxsan Nation. “It is a great learning experience that not many get to experience.”
Surrey RCMP’s Strategic Research and Policy Advisor, Arjen Ordeman, will also be paddling in his first Journey and is honoured to represent the city and detachment.
“I have heard about the Pulling Together Canoe Journey for many years and am finally able to participate as a paddler this year,” says Ordeman, who’s worked with the Surrey RCMP since 2004. “As an outdoor enthusiast and adventure seeker, this is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities to learn more about First Nations culture and traditions from a unique perspective.”
Additional officers and staff will be participating in the journey at different stages throughout the eight day event along with select youth from the Surrey School District. While the journey can be physically demanding at times, it is much more than a long paddle.
“It is not just a journey of the outdoor experience. If you allow it, it can be a life changing experience,” says Cst. Derrick. “We often have set beliefs that all First Nations are the same. This is far from the truth, however, as each community is very different and can only be experienced by spending time with each of them.”
The Surrey RCMP will also be hosting a cultural dinner on Semiahmoo First Nation land in Surrey on July 9th for approximately 600 participants, ground crew and special guests.
“The Surrey RCMP is committed to building and fostering relationships with local First Nations communities. The Pulling Together Canoe Journey is an important way for the Surrey RCMP to build these connections to create and promote cultural awareness and understanding among all Surrey communities,” says Ordeman.
You can follow the Surrey RCMP on the 2015 Pulling Together Journey on Twitter @SurreyRCMP.
For more information on the Pulling Together Canoe Journey please visit http://pullingtogether.ca and for more information on BC RCMP Aboriginal Policing Services please visit their website.
Released by:Sgt. Dale Carr
NCO i/c Media Relations & Special Events
For media inquiries contact:Cpl. Scotty Schumann
Media Relations Officer
Surrey RCMP Media Relations Unit