Three Nunavut youth take part in RCMP training program
“We need more Inuit RCMP officers in Nunavut”
Three Nunavut youth recently experienced what it’s like to be a member of the RCMP.
The Aboriginal Pre-Cadet Training Program, which ran May 13 to May 31 at the RCMP training academy in Regina, offers Indigenous youth age 19 to 29 from across Canada the opportunity to gain experience in daily police work and develop leadership skills.
Annie Akulukjuk from Pangnirtung, Phoebe Niviaqsiaq from Iqaluit and Brian Aulatjut from Arviat were chosen to take part in APTP after applying to the program earlier this year.
The training focused on teaching collaborative problem-solving skills, law enforcement, public speaking and cultural diversity, a news release said.
Participants also did physical fitness tests and various drills.
Aulatjut, 25, said the decision to apply was obvious because he has always wanted to be a police officer.
“It was my dream job since I was a kid.”
For him, the highlights of the three weeks were driving a police car simulator and learning how to use handcuffs.
The worst part? Making sure his shirts were pressed to perfection.
“I hated ironing the uniforms,” he said.
Akulukjuk, 27, said she enjoyed being in a room full of other Indigenous youth throughout the program.
“It made me feel comfortable.”
She said each day was packed with lessons and training, which was overwhelming but also exciting.
“I enjoyed absolutely everything,” she said.
Amanda Jones, the Nunavut RCMP’s commanding officer, says that one of her top priorities is the recruitment of Inuit.
Jones told Nunatsiaq News in May that her detachment commanders and recruiting officers have visited schools and Nunavut Arctic College campuses throughout the territory to talk to youth about career options in the RCMP.
Currently, 14 Inuit are employed by the RCMP’s “V” Division.
Aulatjut first decided he wanted to join the RCMP when an officer visited his elementary school in Arviat to talk about career opportunities in the territory.
“We need more Inuit RCMP officers in Nunavut,” Aulatjut said.
“We are extremely proud of Annie, Phoebe and Brian for completing the program and showing great leadership among their peers. They have all gained valuable knowledge and are role models in their communities that demonstrate positive alternatives to other young Inuit youth,” said Cpl. Jamie Savikataaq of Nunavut’s “V” Division.
Both Aulatjut and Akulukjuk said they encourage other young Nunavummiut to apply to the training program when it happens again next year.
“I want other youth to know that this program exists and that everyone is capable if they want to pursue their career in the RCMP,” Akulukjuk said.
“I encourage young people to apply for the APTP program. You learn a lot from three weeks,” Aulatjut said.
Savikataaq said anyone interested in the program or a career in the RCMP can contact the recruiting officer at 867-975-4404 or email@example.com.