Pulling Together Canoe Journey
The Pulling Together Canoe Journey is an annual ten day journey that brings together First Nations communities, police and other public service agencies, and youth.
The combination of public service personnel and First Nation people paddling in unison is a powerful symbol of positive relationships and mutual respect. The journey itself is an unforgettable spiritual experience that blends teamwork with culture and adventure, while creating respect and empathy between public service workers and local First Nation peoples.
The Surrey RCMP is committed to building and fostering relationships with local First Nations communities, and is a proud participant in the annual Pulling Together Canoe Journey.
In 2001, now retired RCMP S/Sgt. Ed Hill organized the first Pulling Together Canoe Journey down the Fraser River. Hill understood the benefit of police officers working with First Nations peoples and wanted to improve police relations with First Nations communities. Today, the Journey continues to bring together local First Nations communities and public service agencies for this annual cultural trip.
"Each year is like a family reunion for me, reconnecting with various communities from all over the province," says Surrey RCMP Cst. Troy Derrick, a member of the Gitxsan Nation. "It is a great learning experience that not many get to experience."
Surrey RCMP's Strategic Research and Policy Advisor, Arjen Ordeman, has also paddled in a number of Pulling Together events.
"While the paddling experience was rewarding in and of itself, the cultural experience was even more significant and enriching. Being able to witness and participate in long standing traditions and ceremonial protocols, from the sharing of songs and prayers, stories and teachings, to food, gifts and camaraderie is something I won't soon forget."
The mission of the Pulling Together Canoe Journey is "Recognizing the past by Pulling Together to enhance understanding between public service agencies and Aboriginal Peoples by canoeing the traditional highway, strengthening our future relations".
- Pulling Together Canoe Society
- RCMP National Aboriginal Policing Services
- RCMP First Nations Community Policing Service
- BC RCMP Aboriginal Policing Services
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