Elders Advisory Council
Members of the Regina Police Service are fortunate to be able to receive guidance and teachings from community Elders. The Regina Police Service Elders Advisory Council was established in 2004 with eight Elders to guide and work closely with members of the Service. Today, the council consists of five Elders, an Oskapios (Elders Helper), and an adviser.
Meetings between the council and the Service are held quarterly. Elders bring community feedback and recommendations to the Service, and the Service asks the Elders to advise the community on the work they are doing to better the relationship between RPS and Indigenous peoples.
The Elders provide Indigenous teachings to members, raise their pipes and send their prayers for members and help build an understanding by providing education to all members of the Service during training.
RPS Elders Advisory Council Teachings/Story
(Provided by RPS Advisor R/Cpl. Jim Pratt: 2019)
In 2004, the Regina Police Service sponsored four sweats in one week for members and members of the community. This was the second year holding these sweat lodges with Elders Art Kaiswatum, Diane Kaiswatum, and Isador Pelletier. A community Elder was unhappy with the Service creating posters and holding these sweats for the community. He left the Cultural Relations Unit verbally abusive voice mail messages. He gave the Service heck for holding them saying we had no right to have sweats and that these sweats were are honour to hold. He demanded to meet with members from the unit the next day.
Members of the Cultural Relations Unit, Pratt and Sonier, discussed meeting with the concerned Elder. They decided to ask some other community Elders to go with them. They also discussed creating a council of Elders for when situations like this one arise. Elders Mike Pinay, Isador Pelletier, and Isador’s wife agreed to join Pratt and Sonier in meeting with the Elder.
The next day a meeting was held. The community Elder was surprised to see the Service bring other Elders with them. Pratt explained that he asked the Elders to join them at the meeting as they were going to be advisors to the Regina Police Service. The community Elder was then asked to mention his concerns with the Service hosting sweats. He recanted his concerns and said he overreacted and believed the Service was doing good work in the community. Elder Mike Pinay offered the community Elder tobacco and asked him what he really meant and for his concerns. The Elder did not take the tobacco. Elder Mike then told him if he had concerns with what the Service was doing that he could discuss them with him or one of the other Elders present.
Discussions were held between Pratt, Sonier, and Chief Johnson regarding the creation of an Elders Advisory Council. Chief Johnson didn’t think the council needed to be tied to the Chief’s office, as the Elders would be a resource for the entire Service. The Regina Police Service Elders’ Advisory Council was established with eight Elders to work closely with the Service. The Elders were Art Kaiswatum, Isador Pelletier, Joan Pelletier, Mike Pinay, Stewart Koochicum, Larry Oakes, Noel Kahanaphce and an Elder from Carry the Kettle First Nation. The council is attached to the Cultural and Community Diversity Unit, meetings are held quarterly were the Elders bring community feedback and recommendations to the Service and the Service asks Elders to advise the community on the work they are doing to better the relationship between the Service and Indigenous peoples. Today, there are six Elders from the Treaty 4 area on the Regina Police Service Elders’ Advisory Council. They meet with the Chief, Executive and the Cultural and Community Diversity Unit. The Service also has an Oskapios, Elders Helper, who assists in guiding members and the Service in Indigenous protocols.