Xat’sull and RCMP sign Letter of Expectation

There were some big smiles after the letter was signed
There were some big smiles after the letter was signed

Kukpi7 (Chief) Sheri Sellars, on behalf of Soda Creek Indian Band (SCIB), and Inspector Jeff Pelley, on behalf of the Williams Lake First Nations Policing, signed a Letter of Expectation on Sept. 10.
The agreement is important to establish a working relationship, for collaboration, to set the priorities to strategically reduce crime and to enhance relationships within Xatśūll – Cmetēm, says Pelley. Community support is key for that, he adds.
The priorities include communication and cultural awareness, youth partnerships, crime reduction, drug enforcement education and awareness and the offender program.
The letter sets both expectations from the RCMP and SCIB to make the communities safer with Indigenous policing services.
“I think it’s an exceptional agreement. It’s always very fluid and works well within this community and we’ve had some successes. There is certainly more work to be done and the relationship has been key in these successes.”
Sellars says she’s feeling good about signing it.
“It’s an annual thing for Soda Creek. We like to develop that relationship with RCMP. The world’s changed. It’s not like it used to be 20 years ago,” she says referring to the relationship with RCMP, crime in the area and trying to implement Title and Rights.
The letter identifies the priorities that the community wants Williams Lake First Nations Policing to focus on, says Corporal Eric Chrona, in charge of Indigenous Policing for Williams Lake.
Elder Ralph Phillips was present to witness the signing.
It’s important for the people to come together to better understand what they’re looking for and lead themselves instead of being led by the RCMP, he says.
“This here, I think, is a really good idea. I haven’t been able to see this for a long time. I guess it’s nearly 30 years ago when I’ve seen this happen. So to see it’s starting again and thanks to the Chief [is really good.]”
Constable Marty Richard, who works for the Indigenous Policing Section and is assigned to Xatśūll First Nations, says he sees it as a continuation of the rebuilding process of getting the relationship between the RCMP and First Nations the way it should have been.
“Trying to heal some of the hurt that was done years and years ago. It’s not us working for the community. It’s us working with the community is how I look at it. It’s a joint partnership where we hopefully benefit each other.”

Xat’sull and RCMP sign Letter of Expectation (PDF)