The RCMP is interested in encouraging Indigenous people to pursue careers in policing, said Sg. Kimberley Mueller.
“Traditionally, we’ve seen that it’s not a career that First Nations and Metis people, and actually even Inuit people consider or think of.”
The RCMP serves 80 per cent of the Indigenous communities across Canada, so to be an effective police force “we need to represent the communities that we serve.”
She said she is on a mission to get out to First Nations and Metis settlements across Alberta to spark that interest in policing as a career opportunity.
“For me it’s been a life-changer,” said Mueller. “It’s made a difference for my family and the stability that this employment has given me, but also the opportunity to work in Indigenous communities and learn culture and be a part of a community… I just can’t measure that. It’s worth its weight in gold.”
Being a leader may come with sacrifices, but Mueller doesn’t frame it with that term. The biggest so-called sacrifice is the number of hours that goes into her work. But she’s going to community events, and powwows and round dances, and brings her family along with her to take part in these activities.
Mueller said increasing the number of women in leadership positions in all industries, including policing, is the only way to make societal change.
Mentoring young women is one of Muller’s passions.
“I have a girls group in Enoch. We named it SAFE, and it stands for Strategies for Aboriginal Female Empowerment.” It’s focused on education and career opportunities, but there are also discussions around the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and what a healthy relationship looks like. It’s about setting goals in the community, or in post secondary learning, or in pursuing career interests.
She said being rooted in Indigenous culture has been an asset throughout her life in the RCMP.