A vehicle forfeited by a convicted drug trafficker is getting a new life supporting police outreach to North Shore First Nations & Youth. West Vancouver Police Department (WVPD) has officially unveiled a Ford F-350 pick-up truck that was forfeited to the Province, then provided to serve as a support vehicle for the WVPD Ch’ich’iyuy Canoe Program.
B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris joined WVPD Chief Constable Len Goerke and West Vancouver Schools Superintendent Chris Kennedy at Gleneagles-Ch’axáý Elementary School in West Vancouver today for a traditional First Nations ceremony to cleanse the vehicle before it begins new service in the community.
With the support of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC), the vehicle has been wrapped in First Nations artwork and anti-gang decals, making it a rolling billboard aimed at discouraging youth from gang and criminal activity.
The vehicle has been dubbed ‘Hiyi Ulanch’ (see pronunciation footnote) and will help transport the WVPD Canoe Ch’ich’iyuy to events supporting ongoing outreach to youth and First Nations. Minister Morris welcomed the opportunity to witness the vehicle’s final transformation through traditional ceremony to a new use.
“By allowing police agencies to use a growing number of forfeited vehicles for community outreach, we continue to support important discussions between officers and young people, about topics that are important to their own safety and that of their communities,” said Morris. “Here in West Vancouver, the canoe program has the additional benefit of building cultural understanding and respect among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students alike.”
Hiyi Ulanch will support ongoing WVPD participation in events like the annual ‘Pulling Together’ Canoe Journey while helping to illustrate the high costs of choosing a criminal lifestyle.
Members of the Squamish Nation helped Gleneagles-Ch’axáý students conduct traditional ceremonies to spiritually cleanse the truck and to put the canoe Ch’ich’iyuy at rest for the season.
West Vancouver Police patrol Xwemelch’stn Capilano IR#5, along with North Vancouver RCMP, serve all communities of the Squamish and Tsleil Waututh First Nations through the Integrated First Nations Unit (IFNU). WVPD works in full partnership with CFSEU-BC, to which three West Vancouver officers are currently seconded.
(** Hiyi Ulanch-Squamish Language “Big Orange”- Phonetic–Hee YAY yoo LANCH**)