RCMP building better relationships with First Nations


The West Kelowna RCMP First Nation Policing Unit in partnership with Okanagan Indian Band FNP and Penticton Indian Band FNP conducted an Okanagan RCMP Recruiting Youth Canoe Journey on Okanagan Lake.  

The journey started on August 26th, 2019 at Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band Vernon and took paddlers along the Okanagan to Penticton ending on August 30th,2019.

“Our goal is to help build better community relationships with the RCMP and aboriginal communities, to further boost recruiting of aboriginal people in the RCMP and to bring education to aboriginal youth regarding the importance of water safety.” States Cst. Rolly Williams of the West Kelowna FNP Unit.

Youths from West Kelowna, Kamloops and from as far as Burns Lake signed up to take part in this 5-day canoe journey. RCMP members canoed with the youths across Okanagan Lake while BC Conservation Officers provided the safety boat and first aid support. 

“We had eighteen youths participating in the Canoe Journey this year and they came from a number of regions including; Ttes Indian Band, Wetsuweten Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Tk'emlups te Secwepemc Kamloops and Westbank First Nation.” States West Kelowna FNP Cst. Rolly Williams “These kids are interested in joining the RCMP one day and will benefit from the challenges, team building, friendships and life skills they received during this journey.” 

After participating in the Recruitment Canoe Journey and the Jean Minguy Memorial RCMP Youth Academy, West Kelowna resident Keegan Ford is more determined than ever to become a Mountie.  Ford said, “I’ve wanted to join the RCMP since I was kid. I just want to give back to the community and help people, make their day better.”

When Ford was asked what he took away from this experience he said, “Comparing our cultures and being apart of a team. I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in becoming a police officer. We all have something in common, wanting to give back to our communities”.