The garden was created in 2019 to honour residential school survivors and their families (Courtesy/RCMP)

The garden was created in 2019 to honour residential school survivors and their families (Courtesy/RCMP)

Yukon RCMP, First Nations work on symbols of reconciliation

Garden is a collaboration between Yukon RCMP and First Nations

The RCMP in Yukon said it will continue to support the self-determination, safe and healthy First Nations communities in the territory within and beyond their policing role.

A statement by the RCMP on June 21 said across different communities in the territory, they have worked with local First Nations governments and communities to create visual symbols of this commitment around the detachment buildings.

On June 7, the fifth annual planting of the Heart Garden at Whitehorse RCMP Detachment took place in Whitehorse.

The heart-shaped garden, which is a collaboration between the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC), Ta’an Kwach’an Council and the Whitehorse RCMP, was first created in 2019 to honour residential school survivors and their families.

The statement added that RCMP officers and employees worked with representatives of the KDFN and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council to plant flowers in the garden at the front of the headquarters building on Fourth Avenue.

“It is particularly meaningful to have the opportunity to work together in the garden each year and watch the flowers grow through summer,” the statement read, adding that a similar initiative in Old Crow has a unique northern twist.

“As it can be difficult to plant and maintain flowers, police with Old Crow RCMP worked with local residents and school students to create a rock and antler garden at the detachment,” it read.

Last year, the community was invited to paint stones to contribute to the garden as a long-lasting symbol of the relationship between the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and RCMP, and the RCMP commitment to reconciliation.

The statement continues that on National Indigenous Peoples Day which is celebrated on June 21, and throughout the year, the Yukon RCMP acknowledges the role that the RCMP played in many programs that impacted First Nations, including the role in the territory with respect to delivering children to residential schools.

“Despite this history, RCMP officers at detachments across the Yukon have been honoured to be welcomed into First Nation communities, programs, and events, and are grateful for opportunities such as the creations of these gardens that allow for learning and understanding history while working together towards a strong future,” it read.

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