The Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) Women’s Commission is talking about their work.

The commission was established last year and advises PAPS Police Chief Jonathan Bergen on a range of issues. PAPS Chaplain Nora Vedress is the commission’s co-chair along with Elder Liz Settee. Vedress explained at a media conference Friday morning at PAPS headquarters that the commission’s first meeting saw it lay out its mission statement. She added since then they have been focusing on some important issues.

“The next two meetings were deeply seated in Truth and Reconciliation and those calls to action,” she said.

Along with looking at the TRC the PAPS Women’s Commission has been looking over the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, specifically the calls to justice for police services. The commission is made up of people who work in a range of areas from policing to addictions and mental health. Vedress said there is a strong Indigenous presence on the commission as well.

“I think I am maybe the only person the committee that, isn’t Métis or Indigenous,” she said.

When it comes to the implementation of the calls to justice, Vedress said PAPS has taken action in regards to one relating to language. She said PAPS has been offering Cree language instruction to officers and said there are also plans to offer education on other languages in the future.

“There’s been a really positive uptick on that actually, and not just from Indigenous officers, but from non Indigenous officers, to learn that language,” said Vedress.

Vedress as well spoke about the education work which the commission has observed being done, one of the examples she cited was when Chief Cadmus Delorme was brought to the city to speak about reconciliation with the help of PAPS. Vedress added the police service is hoping to do similar things in the future.

Overall Vedress said the commission does believe the leadership of the police service is serious about listening to the commission and the issues it is bringing forward.

“We were invited to come, there was an understanding like chief said that there was a gap in perspective and so to try to address that we were invited to start this commission and I think theirs a deep desire from administration to hear what we have to say,” she said.

(Top Photo: PAPS Police Chief Jonathan Bergen with the members of the women’s commission. Photo Courtesy of PAPS Twitter.)