Niigan Mosewak Bringing Togeather OPP and Native Youth
Niigan Mosewak Campers 2019 (Photo Credit: Trevor Smith-Millar)
The 12th Niigan Mosewak has once again seen dozen of indigenous kids gather at Camp Lutherlyn.
The camp is run by Jerry Novac, Constable with OPP’s East Region Provincial Liaison’s team. Niigan Mosewak, which means “walking forward”, brings 40 youth from many first nations including Inuit and the Algonquins. While there, Novac says they learn about different cultures, and focus on values like leadership and productivity. Novac says the OPP get the opportunity to build positive relationships with the youth. He says once those relationships are built, there is more understanding between the OPP and indigenous communities.
Throughout the week, the camp saw different guest speakers from different nations. Topics ranged from healthy relationships and focused on what Novac called the grandfather teachings and walking the red road. He says kids often come back, and three years after starting they are given the opportunity to come back as a mentor and shadow officers. Some also come back as councilors. Novac says if they are interested in policing, the OPP can help them out.
Novac has been running the camp for all twelve years and says it’s amazing to see the kids come in and bond in such a short time. He says he sees the difference camp makes in their lives and says its rewarding to watch.