New to Surrey is a free youth program that aims to develop leadership skills and educate about Indigenous culture and policing.
In 2021, Metro Vancouver Transit Police launched its Blue Eagle Community Cadet program for all youth ages 12 to 15 at the Britannia Community Center in East Vancouver.
Now, an open day on the expansion of the program in Surrey is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 27 at AHP Matthew Elementary, 13367 97 Ave, at Whalley.
“This is your chance to learn more about the weekly program that immerses participants in Indigenous culture while learning new skills, building self-confidence, and giving back to their community,” reads a post. on Facebook.
“Meet the Program Director, Metro Vancouver Transit Police Indigenous Liaison Officer, Constable Kirk Rattray (Tahltan First Nation), and answer all your questions.”
Blue Eagle Community Cadets are coming to Surrey! Come and discover this FREE program for young people aged 12 to 15 during our open house. Thank you to our partners @Surrey_Schools @Surrey RCMP @OptionsBC and the Ministry of Child and Family Development. Learn more: https://t.co/KJqroAhETj pic.twitter.com/BQB38Dk8T4
— Blue Eagle Community Cadets (@blueeaglecadets) January 18, 2022
The cadet program is based on a similar venture in Winnipeg.
At the Vancouver Community Center, activities included drumming, singing, sports, hiking, crafts, First Nations teachings, food, talking circles and more.
A video about the program is posted on the Metro Vancouver Transit Police YouTube channel.
“We’re trying to break down barriers, okay, so we’re trying to make it easier for young people to interact with us and start trusting the police,” Rattray says in the three-minute video.
Although the program “has a strong focus on Indigenous culture,” applicants do not need to be of Indigenous descent to participate. “Anyone who wants to experience Indigenous culture and protocols can apply,” according to an article on transitpolice.ca/BlueEagle, or an application is linked.
Applicants should be between the ages of 12 and 15, reside in the Metro Vancouver area, attend school full-time, be interested in learning more about different aspects of policing, motivated to learn new skills and take up new challenges, and be willing to be an active and respectful participant.
Program partners include Surrey Schools, Surrey RCMP, Options and the Department of Children and Family Development.