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West Kelowna  

Canoe journey a success

The West Kelowna RCMP First Nation Policing (FNP) Unit, partnered with the Okanagan Indian Band FNP and Penticton Indian Band FNP want to thank those involved in the Okanagan RCMP Recruiting Youth Canoe Journey.

The five day journey began on August 26 at the Kamasket Park Okanagan Indian Band in Vernon and took participants through the Okanagan Lake, ending in Penticton on August 30.

“Our goal is to help build better community relationships with the RCMP and aboriginal communities, to further boost recruiting of aboriginal people in the RCMP and to bring education to aboriginal youth regarding the importance of water safety,” said Cst. Rolly Williams, of the West Kelowna FNP Unit.

RCMP members participated in the canoe trip with youths from West Kelowna, Kamloops and Burns Lake, with the help of BC Conservation Officers providing a safety boat and first aid.

“We had eighteen youths participating in the Canoe Journey this year and they came from a number of regions including; Ttes Indian Band, Wetsuweten Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Tk'emlups te Secwepemc Kamloops and Westbank First Nation,” Said Williams.

“These kids are interested in joining the RCMP one day and will benefit from the challenges, team building, friendships and life skills they received during this journey.” 

Keegan Ford from West Kelowna is determined to become a Mountie after participating in the Recruitment Canoe Journey and the Jean Minguy Memorial RCMP Youth Academy.

“I’ve wanted to join the RCMP since I was kid," said Ford. "I just want to give back to the community and help people, make their day better.”

Ford enjoyed comparing cultures during the trip and being a part of a team.

"I highly recommend this experience to anyone interested in becoming a police officer," said Ford. "We all have something in common, wanting to give back to our communities."

The RCMP would like to thank the Westbank First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, South East District First Nations Policing Unit, the BC Conservation Services and the Okanagan Indian Band elders, Chief and council for their support.

Anne Tomat of Westbank First Nation has also been recognized for providing a campground for the participants.



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