Fort Severn Cree gathered to celebrate the opening of its new NAPS police detachment on January 12.
Celebrations began with a community feast hosted by the Chief and Council with special guest Greg Rickford, the MP for Kenora Riding and attended by over 150 community members with standing room only in the Youth Centre. The official ribbon cutting took place on Wednesday January 12, 2012 with once again, amazing community support.
Speakers included Moses Kakekaspan, Sr, Chief Matthew Kakekaspan, Police Chief Claude Chum of NAPS, Stan McKay, NAPS board member and Greg Rickford. Sheba Miles and Rhonda Albany sang hymns in the Cree language. The Chief praised them for doing a “fantastic job”.
Chief Kakekaspan told the participants of the many challenges in making the new detachment a reality. He talked about the challenges of lobbying both levels of government for adequate funding and the disappointment of not getting the materials into the community last year before the winter road was closed. He praised the partners for pulling together and working hard to make this opening possible especially Greg Rickford for his work in Ottawa to move this file along. “We would not be cutting the ribbon on this police detachment today had it not been for Mr. Rickford's personal intervention. He is not afraid of hard work. He is not afraid of asking tough questions and he is not afraid to speak for the people of his constituency,” he said.
Stan McKay, speaking on behalf of the board of directors, praised the men and women who serve the First Nations in the north as NAPS officers. “They are fine young men and women who carry awesome responsibilities everyday and do it with professionalism and pride.”
The new police building is a source of pride for both NAPS and Fort Severn Cree Nation. This facility is state of the art, with the most up to date policing tools. The new detachment is one of the finest in the far north.