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'We want to pave our own path': Blood Tribe police setting themselves apart from other services

A special ceremony in Standoff, Alta., marked a milestone in Indigenous policing in Canada and honour the heritage of their people. A special ceremony in Standoff, Alta., marked a milestone in Indigenous policing in Canada and honour the heritage of their people.

There was a special ceremony for the Blood Tribe Police Service in Standoff this week.

A headdress was transferred and new epaulettes were added to uniforms.

It was a symbolic and meaningful moment for Indigenous policing in southern Alberta.

The headdress transfer ceremony recognized acting Sgt. Hadiga Little Wolf, one of the Blood Tribe Police Service's female officers.

"The importance of today with the headdress ceremony is it's showing a right of passage," said Little Wolf.

"It just shows the support that they give me in sharing this moment with me."

Little Wolf says she’s incredibly gracious to receive such an honour.

"I was really fortunate to be raised with a strong sense of belonging to my people, Blackfoot people, and to the land and where I’m from," she said.

Elder Patrick Big Plume led the services with community members and the Blood Tribe Police Force in attendance.

"We're very humbled to have Sgt. Little Wolf get transferred one today," said Brice Iron Shirts, the service’s police chief.

"She's the first Indigenous police officer to achieve that honour and we're very proud of her for doing that."

Big Plume also presented new epaulettes to the police service.

The new shoulder pieces are meant to signify and honour their heritage.

Iron Shirt believes it's a first for Indigenous policing in Canada.

"The sun is our source of life, a representation of our source of life, the moon is his wife and then we have morning star and scar face as well," he told CTV News.

"All significant roles in our oral history and our Blackfoot way of life."

Iron Shirt says the Blackfoot way of life includes tackling modern-day problems with new approaches, head on.

Not only does the service have the first Indigenous-led Crimestoppers line, by next fall they’ll also have a human trafficking outreach program, spearheaded by Senior Const, Jennaye Norris.

"It is a problem nationwide across Canada, and unfortunately, it is here as well," Norris said.

"Our goal is to speak to these victims of human trafficking that do go missing from this reserve, get them help and bring them back to their own community and their culture."

More information is expected to be released in the coming months.

These programs and initiatives are meant to set the blood tribe police apart from all others.

"We are done imitating other police services and we want to pave our own path in policing, especially in indigenous policing."

For more information on what the Blood Tribe Police Service are doing in their community, and southern Alberta, you can visit the website. Top Stories


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