Local officers, staff, and youth complete Pulling Together Canoe Journey


2017-07-20 09:22 PDT

This past weekend, Surrey RCMP officers, municipal employees, and six Surrey School District students and staff completed the final leg of the Pulling Together Canoe Journey, which wrapped up at Stanley Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Surrey RCMP was honoured to participate in the journey, as both paddlers and ground crew, with support from this year’s hosts – Squamish First Nation, West Vancouver Police, and the Royal Canadian Navy. This was also the first year that Surrey detachment entered its own canoe as part of the Semiahmoo First Nation family.

The feedback we received from all of the participants was excellent, says Superintendent Shawn Gill, Surrey RCMP Community Services Officer, who helped paddle the canoe along with several other special guests at points during the ten day journey. It was great to see the healthy rapport being developed between our officers, staff, local youth, and our Indigenous communities. This event is a long standing tradition that has a lasting impact on strengthening relationships amongst all groups involved.

Our students and staff had an incredible experience, says Rob Rai, Safe Schools Director, School and Community Connections. Staff have repeatedly mentioned how impressed they were by the students’ growth and development in such a short amount of time. Being able to immerse themselves in this environment surrounded by such positive influences was a great learning opportunity for these students. Thank you to all our partners for making it a success.

The Pulling Together Canoe Journey is an important way for the Surrey RCMP to build stronger connections and create a greater cultural awareness amongst all our communities. The Surrey RCMP continues to seek additional opportunities to work with our local Indigenous community in the interests of public safety and building trust between First Nations and the police.

For more information on the Pulling Together Canoe Journey please visit http://pullingtogether.ca.

RCMP and First Nations standing with paddlers arriving on shore Surrey RCMP canoe paddlers lifting canoe onto shore canoes coming into Vancouver

Additional feedback:

When I first came on this trip I didn't know what to expect. The thought of canoeing and camping for 10 days made me nervous. Once I was on the trip expectations were high. We were part of a larger canoe family and everyone had jobs to do to ensure that our family could function. Once I learned how to paddle and built my skills around camp, it became easy to help out. On the trip I also learned a lot about indigenous culture and the Semiahmoo people who hosted us. I also became friends with the police officers on the trip that I recognized from my neighbourhood. I would like to thank the Wrap program for the opportunity and I can't wait to go next year. – Surrey Safe Schools student

It was an amazing experience that truly deserves being called "Pulling Together" in both the literal sense and the metaphorical sense of pulling together as a team to accomplish a goal. The experience is more than I can put into words and I am hoping to do it again next year. – Constable Gordon Van Leeuwen

I was fortunate to participate in many different functions and enjoyed all of them. Myself and my partner enjoyed the interaction with the kids from Surrey Safe Schools and saw huge improvements with these kids. We were very proud of their participation in this event. - Corporal Mark Peterse

Committed to serving the Community

Your Surrey RCMP is committed to providing a sensitive, responsive, professional policing service for all Surrey communities. For more information about Surrey RCMP Programs, Services, how to Protect Yourself, or our latest News Releases visit www.surrey.rcmp.ca.

For media inquiries contact:
Cpl. Scotty Schumann
Media Relations Officer
Surrey RCMP Media Relations Unit
Office: 604.599.7776
Email: surrey_media_relations@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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