Creepy car incident brings thoughts of safety of First Nations members

My mother is a Coast Salish elder who commutes through North Cowichan on a regular basis

Creepy car incident brings thoughts of safety of First Nations members

Re: Creepy stalking car incident

I am writing in response to the creepy stalking car incident. Four issues immediately come to mind: justice institutions and community safety, criminal victimization, vulnerable populations, and the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report. All four issues of justice converging in an isolated location.

I felt dread for the individuals who were forced to experience this event, especially since it was conceived and meticulously planned ahead of time. Compounded by the fact that we now live in a society where road rage is so common that it cannot almost be dismissed as harmless for a woman providing transportation for someone living with a disability. I hope that the Cowichan Valley Citizen can impress upon the RCMP offices of both jurisdictions the severity of this victimization.

My mother is a Coast Salish elder who commutes through North Cowichan on a regular basis, and from Penelakut Island, along with other elders from other tribes and nations on Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. These elders provide mental health and counselling services to vulnerable families. Our family, tribe, and Coast Salish Nation have experienced a countless number of deaths caused by murder, suicide, and accidental death.

In the current political environment, it is an opportune time for the Cowichan Valley Citizen to facilitate a review of the progress and outcomes of the Canada Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) 94 Calls to action in the Cowichan Valley. Keeping in mind that the calls to action are federally focused, and do not contain any recommendations for housing. A tremendous amount of effort goes into localizing the calls to action. The City of Vancouver is a role model for being a city of reconciliation.

The Cowichan Valley Citizen is an expert on the representation of community voice. Maybe the Cowichan Valley Citizen could ask government and justice institutions, community service providers, and community members how community voice could be represented when it comes to the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action. In addition to the questions: how have we been representing voice, and how can representation of community voice be improved?

The language and capacity of community safety is being enriched through the Canada Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry Final Report, as well as the British Columbia legislation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. How are municipalities and host First Nations in the Cowichan Valley working together on these social policies? How can the Cowichan Valley use these frameworks to enhance efforts in crime prevention?

The number of car accidents, victimization, murder, and incarceration are preventable if there is collaboration between media outlets, institutions, and general community members. Increased collaboration could only enhance citizenships, which could only strengthen the quality of Indigenous and non-Indigenous service institutions in the Cowichan Valley.

Rocky James (Thiyustun)

Policy Analyst

Vancouver

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