Oskayak Police Academy
The Oskayak Police Academy is a program that is driven by Indigenous organizations and police supported. The objective of the program is to build relationships between Indigenous youth and Edmonton police officers, and this is done by creating a culturally safe space where trans formative dialogue and relationship can be actualized. The program is hosted at amiskwaciy Academy for two weeks, where 30 Indigenous youth will spend time with community organizers and police members, learning together through experiential traditional customs as well as engaging with police culture and customs. Activities such as traditional hand drum making, police recruit obstacle course, Canine demonstrations, community volunteerism events, and medicine picking are all highlights of the academy.
Who Will it Benefit?
The main benefit is to the youth that are engaged through this program. They are exposed to so many different elements of police and Indigenous culture that is not easily accessible for urban Indigenous youth. Exposure to Indigenous culture is a proven deterrent to criminal activity as it grounds people in their identity, providing a sense of safety and pride. The access to police practices is also of benefit as this helps to de-mystify police practices.