The Prince Albert Police Service is pleased to announce the addition of a new Elder to advise and guide officers and staff as they work to promote reconciliation and understanding within the police service and the wider community.
Jacob Sanderson has agreed to assist the Prince Albert Police Service as an Elder. Mr. Sanderson was welcomed to the role during a short ceremony Tuesday, May 21, where he was also presented with a pouch of tobacco and a yellow cloth.
Prince Albert Police Chief Jon Bergen recognizes that Elders play a significant role in the function of a police service. He presented Elder Sanderson with the yellow cloth saying it represents a new beginning and the building of new relationships at the police service.
“It is our belief and commitment that Elder Jacob Sanderson will build personal relationships and connect with each of our staff as he has with the community at large and our stakeholders at PAGC. In achieving this, we will move forward during this new beginning to receive teachings, messages and guidance from our Elder and we trust this will promote understanding and education that will continue our work towards reconciliation,” Chief Bergen said.
“This new relationship with our Elder will be an ongoing benefit to all our staff and we trust this will continue our efforts to connect the interests of the community we serve to your Prince Albert Police Service. We do fully acknowledge that we are on Treaty 6 Territory and the homeland of the Métis, and we are committed to paying our respects to First Nations and Métis ancestors of this region as we reaffirm our relationship with one another, which will be better achieved with the ongoing support and guidance of our Elder.”
Elder Sanderson hails from the James Smith Cree Nation. He has acted as a spiritual advisor with the Prince Albert Grand Council, the Saskatchewan Penitentiary and worked with spiritual leaders around the world.
Elder Sanderson said it is important for the First Nations community to have a positive relationship with police and he looks forward to guiding the police service in a peaceful and respectful way.
Deputy Chief Jason Stonechild presented Elder Sanderson with a beaded medallion Tuesday, saying it represents a proud connection to the Prince Albert Police Service. Deputy Chief Stonechild said Elder Sanderson’s guidance will help officers and community members who suffer difficult situations manage stress and work through their emotions.
“When Elder Sanderson wears the medallion, it symbolizes his role as a teacher and mentor to our service, he has adopted our service as a part of his family,” Deputy Chief Stonechild explained.