Sandra Pelletier speaking at a safety conference in Ile-a-la-Crosse. Photo by Abel Charles

For the second year in a row, Ile-a-la-Crosse is hosting a unique safety conference in the province’s northwest.

The one-day conference kicked off on Friday and will discuss ideas around community policing, alternative justice, addictions and domestic violence, all with the aim of creating safer communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Organizers say they will also be discussing how to find cultural resolutions among these ideas.

With the success of last year’s conference, Ile-a-la-Crosse Mayor Duane Favel expressed his support for the second conference.

“I know our communities has solutions for challenges and issues. Therefore, we must sit down, talk about them, and work together to implement them,” said Favel in a media release.

Gerald Roy, Deputy Mayor and member of the Community Safety Board, says they hope the conference will build knowledgeable community members who are aware of the initiatives and programs that help foster a safer community.

“How we do that, it’s up to the agencies and community members, leaders, young people and elders,” said Roy while speaking at the conference. “We have to figure out the right way to do this for our own communities.”

Roy is hoping the conference will help them develop a regional safety strategy.

Sandra Pelletier, Chair of the Community Safety Board, says colonization and residential schools are the root of many of the safety concerns in the region. She hopes the conference will help address these concerns.

“We never got the parenting skills and the survival skills we needed to know growing up,” she said. “Now we are trying to teach our children that now.”

Presenters and participants are expected from all over the region. One of the keynote speakers will be RCMP Superintendent Larry Wilson.