As far back as 17-year-old Jacob Klengenberg can remember, there’s always been a Mountie dressed in a red serge in his home of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T.
“Every single officer in my community that has been there so far were really really nice to everyone in the community,” he said, adding they are all heavily involved in activities.
“They’re just really good role models.”
Klengenberg now aspires to be a Mountie and last week, he had the chance to work for change in his community alongside one of the two members that serves the area.
He was one of 15 teens chosen from across Canada to participate in the RCMP’s annual youth leadership workshop program, which takes place at RCMP Depot Divison in Regina.
For five days, the teens are paired with an RCMP member, either sworn or civilian, who work in their home community.
Inspector Jason McAdam oversees the program and said during the workshop, the teams hear from guest speakers and the teens work with their RCMP mentor to develop an action plan to tackle an issue in their community, which can range from bullying and violence to substance abuse and suicide.
He said the main focus of the program is to develop relationships between the RCMP and the teens.
This was the sixth year of the program and all of this year’s participants were Indigenous.
“As you know, the RCMP in our Indigenous communities have always had a relationship and it goes in the spirit of going back to relationships, and building on those relationships in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation,” McAdam explained.
“This is something that we want to work on and improve on and if it can give our Indigenous youth a voice, then we’re supportive of it. This is a great…