Face to Face
I have a lot of appreciation for Edith Turner, but that wasn’t always the case. I used to hang out with her older brothers in our home community of Grand Rapids and she was always the little sister who followed us around. She was a bit of tomboy and always wanted to see what we were doing.
Now, years have passed, and Edith is a member of the Winnipeg Police Service. She recently received one of the highest honours that someone in law enforcement can receive in Canada. I can’t tell you how much pride I feel when I think of Edith.
She comes from a long line of leadership. One of her ancestors was there when our treaty was made and her mother was chief for years. Edith is also a leader. A quiet humble leader, but someone who is a leader nonetheless.
The relationship between the Aboriginal community in Winnipeg and the city’s police service hasn’t always been smooth. In my days a teenager, I had my arm bent behind my back more times than I care to remember. My cousins and I stop using my Auntie’s Buick, because we couldn’t get a block away from their house without the police pulling over this nice car full of Indian teens. Since that time, I have seen the Winnipeg Police Service do much to heal and repair relationships with the local Aboriginal grassroots people. I’m told that the quiet work of Indigenous officers in the WPS, like Edith, are a real reason why the WPS has come so far in the last few decades.
I am so thankful for people who have been trail-blazers in the many different areas where Aboriginal ideas, feelings and values have little representation. Patrol Sergeant Turner is one of these warriors for her people. She does it by just getting down to work, and even though she has a quiet soul, she speaks up when necessary, and builds bridges when needed. I’m proud of Edith Turner. I’m glad she is doing what she does and that she is there to help make the Winnipeg Police Service a better organization.