RCMP initiative inspires Sheshatshiu youth advocate
February 23, 2016
Youth advocate Cyrus Nuna was among 16 Canadian Indigenous youth who convened at the RCMP Training Academy (Depot) in Regina, Saskatchewan for the 2016 Youth Leadership Workshop.
Cyrus was selected as the youth representative from Sheshatshiu, NL and was accompanied to the event by Cst. Dan Sharpe from the Sheshatshiu RCMP Detachment.
The Youth Leadership Workshop is an annual program which facilitates collaboration and mentorship between youth and an RCMP officer from their community. Together, they develop an effective youth-led, police-supported action plan to address youth crimes and victimization issues in their area.
During the workshop, Cyrus identified an action plan to address the impact of suicide and mental health on youth in his community.
“One of the major issues is that youth are not willing to talk about suicide and mental health,” said Cyrus. “The goal of this action plan is to change that way of thinking and promote the many different resources that can help.”
The ultimate goal of the action plan is to fundraise for a fitness centre in Sheshatshiu where youth can improve their physical and mental wellness.
Over the course of the year, Cyrus and Cst. Sharpe will work in conjunction with local officials, community and government representatives to implement the action plan through fundraising events such as a Ball Hockey Tournament.
This is one of the RCMP’s youth engagement initiatives aimed at providing positive learning experiences with police officers.
“As police officers, we don’t often have the opportunity to spend time with youth outside of school presentations. The workshop provided an engaging forum for us to discuss issues with our youth advocates and identify ways we can assist in implementing action for change,” said Cst. Sharpe. “I’m thoroughly impressed with Cyrus’ leadership as a youth advocate, along with his many valuable traits which would make him an exceptional police officer.”
The workshop gained national attention on social media, with #BellLetsTalk spokesperson Clara Hughes reaching out to offer support and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness who also attended the event.
Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #RCMPYouth
Cst. Dan Sharpe