Outgoing Constable Kim Turner has started a tradition that she hopes will continue long after her retirement.
About 30 Aboriginal youth from the Greater Toronto Area took part in the inaugural Gathering of Four Corners Project to network and build relationships.
The four corners were are Toronto in the south, Peel in the west, York in the north and Durham in the east.
“The idea is to celebrate each direction once a year,” she said. “ProAction Cops & Kids contacted Peel, York and Durham Police Services this year for them to bring together 10 kids for each direction. I have a friend with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that brought out some First nations youths also.”
ProAction Cops & Kids is a non-profit organization that connects youth with police officers.
The celebration took place at Etienne Brule Park along the Humber River on Canadian Rivers Day held annually on the second Sunday in June to promote public awareness of the importance of preserving the heritage and health of Canada’s rivers. The group – in conjunction with community partner Toronto Council Fire – paddled up the Humber River.
“The trip took about an hour and we stopped along the way to point out some places of significance,” said Turner, who retires on July 31 after 26 years with the Service. “The previous night, we had some teachings, a feast with drumming by the All Nations Junior Drummers and we paid tribute to the three fallen RCMP officers.”
Peel will host the event next year, which Turner plans to attend.
Constable Christopher Robert, who also participated in this year's event, will be taking over Turner's role in the Aboriginal Peacekeeping Unit .