Cunningham appointed to provincial committee

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A justice co-ordinator from Peavine Metis Settlement north of High Prairie has been named to a provincial committee to improve public safety.
Brad Cunningham was appointed as one of 10 members to the Public Security Indigenous Advisory Committee, states a government news release dated Nov. 10.
He serves as the community justice and mediation program co-ordinator of the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council, a board member of the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal and a director on the board for the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services.
Two representatives from the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta also serve on the committee.
The government appointed Woodland Cree First Nation legal and economic development officer Thomas Laboucan-Avirom and Helen Flamand, a special project co-ordinator for Bigstone Cree Nation Justice and Safety.
Marlene Orr, of Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6, was appointed the chair of the committee.
“The province recognizes there is a myriad of issues Indigenous people in Alberta face regarding community safety and policing,” says Orr, CEO of the Native Counselling Services of Alberta and a member of the Parole Board of Canada’s National Indigenous Circle.
Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson says the committee is valuable.
“Indigenous peoples know the needs of their community best and that extends to urban centres,” Wilson says.
“Indigenous-led solutions will bring meaningful improvements to safety and move us closer to reconciliation.”
Public Safety and Emergency Services Minister Mike Ellis agrees.
“It is critical for our government to work closely with Indigenous peoples in developing Alberta’s path forward in making sure our province is a place where everyone feels safe and protected,” Ellis says.
“The committee will help us ensure our efforts to strengthen public safety are sensitive and responsive ot the needs of Indigenous communities.”
The committee was created after listening to and working with Indigenous peoples in Alberta.
As partners in reconciliation, the provincial government will continue having conversations to find the best ways forward to a better future.
The committee will play a central role to provide advice and recommendations to improve public safety across Alberta, including Indigenous communities.
Members of the committee will advise the government on public safety issues, including police and peace officer reform, restorative justice, victim services and crime prevention.
The advisory committee will:
-Participate in ongoing dialogue regarding public security initiatives.
-Play a critical role to shape policy and program direction.
-Foster mutual understanding and improve collaboration with Indigenous communities.
-Help ensure government processes align with the evolving needs of Indigenous communities in Alberta.

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