Friday, 16 February 2018 06:13

Blood Tribe Police Service hope seminar better informs elders

Written by  Demi Knight
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For the first time, the Blood Tribe Police Service are hosting an elder’s information session to tackle the ever-present issues of elder abuse, fraud and scams.

On March 6 from 5-7:30 p.m. at the White Calf Community Hall in Standoff, the event will bring together elders and community members from the Blood Tribe for an evening of information and togetherness.
“Our Elders are so important to us,” says Sadie Many Fingers, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Blood Tribe Police Service. “So far, in the past, I haven’t heard of any of these types of information sessions taking place on the reserve that relate to the issue of elder abuse and fraud, and since March is Fraud and Scam Safety Month I thought it would be a perfect time to have this session.”
The information session, which will be the first of its kind held by the Blood Tribe Police service was brought to life by Many Fingers as a great event to open the lines of communication for problems or areas that could be affecting elder populations on the reserve. 
Many Fingers says although these elders are undeniably pivotal to the community, creating awareness and positive re-enforcement of keeping them safe and respected is a top priority through these sessions.
With speakers lined up to talk at the event, Many Fingers is excited to see a number of people coming in to talk about these important issues including the Alberta Provincial Crime Watch Wise Owl Program that educates seniors on scams and frauds circulating communities as well as offering them tools and strategies to combat these wrong-doings.
The information session will also see a group come out from the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Association to make a presentation on elder abuse and awareness as well as the Blood Tribe Police services own Technology specialist who will be present to talk about cyber crimes and prevention methods.
“The elders fall victims to these types of crimes because they’re so nice, and these are on-going issues that should be addressed,” says Many Fingers.
“Especially on the reserve, a lot of the elders have limited knowledge on fraud scams and elder abuse really happens here on the reserve too, so this information session will really benefit them to be more aware and educated on preventative methods and what to do if these situations do occur.”
With dinner and refreshments being offered to those in attendance, Many Fingers says this session will also serve as a great relationship building event, since the reserve is so big, she added that not everyone always has the opportunity to get to know each other.
However, by hosting this event, the night will bring everyone together, and hopefully will help to continue to build a healthy reserve while all the while work on ways to better protect the elders so important to the community.
Yet, this isn’t the only session in the works added Many Fingers as she described her hope for the future elder sessions to take place every four months or so and tackle new and prevalent issues that many may be facing both on the reserve and in life in general.
“Elders are very important to the Blood Tribe Reserves, so we want to make these sessions every four months or so to update them on these topics.”
“The event is free and we’re really encouraging elders to attend but it’s open for everyone and we’re really hoping for a good turnout to this first session.”
Many Fingers added the Blood Tribe Police Service is working to put extra communication measures in place that will ultimately help Elders when reporting incidents. Since so many elders are fluent in Blackfoot, she says that communication barriers are sometimes an issue however the police service is taking initiative to have translators available if needed.
This, alongside of the upcoming information session, all being part of the Blood Tribe’s efforts to keep the reserve a safe place for all.

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