Kwanlin Dün First Nation chief Doris Bill, centre, and Yukon RCMP Chief Supt. Scott Sheppard, left, during a letter of expectation signing ceremony outside Nàkwät’à Kų̀, KDFN’s potlatch house, on July 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Kwanlin Dün, Yukon RCMP sign letter of expectation on community policing

Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Yukon RCMP have signed a letter of expectation aimed at increasing accountability and working towards creating a better relationship between police and the community.

Chief Doris Bill and Sgt. Greg Holmberg, the acting officer in charge of the Whitehorse RCMP detachment, signed the letter at a ceremony outside Nàkwät’à Kù, KDFN’s potlatch house, on July 21.

The letter will guide how three dedicated, “culturally-responsive” RCMP officers to be stationed in the community will conduct their duties, with the four key priorities being communication, relationship building, KDFN youth partnerships and community safety.

The letter calls for police to have quarterly meetings with KDFN’s council while also providing monthly policing reports, for KDFN to give the officers cultural awareness training and for officers to participate in community events and volunteer on boards and committees.

Bill, in a press conference before the signing, described the letter as “a document that speaks directly to the strengthening relationship between Kwanlin Dün and the RCMP,” one that provides “the nuts and bolts to a new policing philosophy.”

“This new policing philosophy is all about community relationships, accountability to us, the First Nation, and increased communication,” she said.

“I have hope and trust in our commitment to work together to bring this new vision to reality. We welcome the three dedicated RCMP to our community and will extend a helping hand to them… It is through the building of these relationships that we are truly able to keep our community safe.”

The three positions, being jointly funded by the federal and territorial governments via the First Nations Policing Program, were created under a tripartite agreement reached between KDFN, Yukon and Canada this summer.

There are currently two officers already working in the community under a previous policing program; they’ll remain in their positions, with a new officer to join them “very soon,” Yukon RCMP Chief Supt. Scott Sheppard said at the same press conference.

He described the letter as a “living document,” one that KDFN and the RCMP could update and revise as the community’s policing needs evolve.

“(While) every process is imperfect in its own way, I strongly believe that this letter of expectation is going to create the conditions for success and I would be remiss if I did not mention that it will be successful based on the efforts of KDFN citizens and our members,” Sheppard said.

“And I know that although we’re signing this letter today, I would like to think it’s somewhat emblematic of the efforts that we’ve been making in Yukon … to build these relationships and actually increase the understanding and awareness of police actually being seen as part of the community, and more importantly the community seeing the police reflect their values and their needs.”

Bill said that she envisioned the officers “essentially become part of the community.”

Const. Adam Lightfoot, one of the two RCMP officers already stationed in McIntyre, said in an interview afterwards that he saw the signing of the letter as a positive step.

“(The letter) gives them the chance to lay out, ‘Well, we like to see (officers) out having coffee with an elder, we like to see them going with the youth group on a canoe trip…’ (It) allows Kwanlin Dün to basically state their needs and allows the RCMP to provide the bodies to help accommodate that so everybody wins,” he said.

Having a third officer on the team will also allow more time to participate in the community, Lightfoot added.

“More hands means less work for everybody,” he said.

“(It means) more chances to get out there, spend time on the land with people, have some groups, go to youth group, play with the kids, whatever it is … Kwanlin Dün can say, ‘Well, this is what we want,’ and we kind of have the time to do it.”

Contact Jackie Hong at

Kwanlin Dun First NationWhitehorse RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted


Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Whitehorse musher Hans Gatt crosses the 2021 Yukon Journey finish line in first place at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Feb. 26. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Whitehorse musher Hans Gatt crosses the 2021 Yukon Journey finish line in first place at approximately 10:35 a.m. on Feb. 26. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Hans Gatt wins inaugural 2021 Yukon Journey

The Yukon Journey, a 255-mile race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse, kicked off on Feb. 24

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities