“Police Services throughout Alberta have been working toward answering the “Calls to Action” resulting from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said MHPS Chief Joe West. “The Service is honoured to provide this gesture of recognition and acknowledgement of Indigenous peoples and the land we share.”
The Medicine Hat Police Service and the Miywasin Friendship Centre held a naming ceremony Friday for the community boardroom at the station.
Kainai Nation Elder Charlie Fox chose the name Aahkoinnimaan ni, a word that translates as the scared pipe, a symbol of justice and peace that has a traditional role in the resolution of issues.
Along with the name change, a mural has been painted inside the boardroom. The artwork was done by local Metis Artist Ray-Al Hochman.
The four canvas art pieces installed were created by JoLynn Parenteau, an Indigenous housing and homeless navigator with the Miywasin Friendship Centre and a member of the Chief’s Indigenous Advisory Committee. Each of the four paintings highlights the traditional language of the Blackfoot, Michif, Ojibwe and Plains Cree peoples.
Insp. Brent Secondiak explains how the name ceremony came about, and its importance.
The Aahkoinnimaan ni room is a meeting space, that can accommodate groups of up to 60 people, and is available for community groups to book free of charge upon request. To book the Aahkoinnimaan ni room, complete the Community Boardroom request form found on the MHPS website.