If you ever wanted to become a police officer or would like a good summer experience, then the RCMP has a job for you.
The RCMP offers Aboriginals ages 19-29 a chance to become members of their service. The program designed is a pre-cadet training program where Aboriginals have the opportunity to experience daily police work in a 17-week program over the summer.
For Crystal Snow, a former Miss Newfoundland and Labrador and a Métis living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the program is a chance of a lifetime.
Snow says she thought about going into law enforcement a few years ago and was not sure what avenue she wanted to take.
“I heard about the program offered by the RCMP and I jumped on the opportunity while continuing my degree in Law and Society as well as working on my diploma in Criminology,” she said.
Snow said choosing a career in law enforcement was the most appealing because it gives her a chance to help people who are in need and to show people that the law is there to work with them.
“Event though there are consequences to peoples’ actions, we want to keep the majority of the population safe,” added Snow.
She feels her Aboriginal background will help other Aboriginals in Labrador because there is a gap to bridge between the police and the Aboriginal community.
“I feel some people can relate to an Aboriginal officer much better than a non-aboriginal officer because of the past history between the police and Aboriginals and the relationship that was once there,” she said.
Changes between the RCMP and the Aboriginal community have been coming over time and there is now an understanding between the police and the Aboriginal community and its needs.
“It has been a time of transformation, which is good, but there are still people who probably feel it has not changed as much, but I think in time it will be even more,” said Snow.
She said the problem is often history plays out in peoples’ hearts more than the reality of whatever the situation is, with many holding on to past hurts or past issues.
“Residential schools are one of the past issues and the sour taste that is put into peoples’ mouths, and learning to realize it is not the same as it once was. People generally are good and want to help,” said Snow.
She said being an Aboriginal person who is training with the RCMP, she hopes that joining the RCMP would be appealing to other Aboriginals and encourage them to know that it is not one group against the other and police and the community can all work together.
Her goal after the summer training is to become a member of the RCMP and the program will help her move a step closer to her dream of becoming a member.
The program is offered throughout Canada and funded by each province. Two Aboriginal people are chosen each year from each province to go into the program, which is open to all Aboriginal people.
Anyone interested in the Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program for 2013-2014 is asked to contact Corporal Rick Mills of the Goose Bay Detachment at 896-3383.