Hamilton Police are calling on the Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA community to help select a facilitator to lead future meetings with Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA communities.
The move is a response to the June 2020, Scott Bergman report commissioned by the Hamilton Police Service Board investigating the volence that took place at Pride 2019 and the harm that was caused to community. Hamilton Police Service accepted all 38 recommendations of the Bergman Report and began to implement those that fell solely to the Service. Three of the recommendations directed Hamilton Police to gather the input of Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA communities as part of the engagement process with community. These recommendations were:
Recommendation 25—The HPS should retain a third-party facilitator or mediator from a list provided by community members to facilitate future community meetings moving forward.
Hamilton Police are moving forward on Recommendation 25 to identify a third-party facilitator for future community meetings. A recent survey by McMaster University invited Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA communities to identify the skills and qualifications needed for a facilitator. The survey identified the following criteria:
· Must be a member of the Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA community
· Politically neutral~
· Should not be affiliated with the Hamilton Police Service
· Knowledgeable about the issue and challenges faced by Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA Hamiltonians
· Must understand historical oppression of marginalized groups by police
· Previous experience working with Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA community organizations and/or with other marginalized communities
· Understand appropriate language usage~
· Skilled in trauma informed practices
The McMaster Survey
The McMaster survey attracted 350 responses which was whittled down to 155 responses rejecting surveys that were blank, that included nonsensical responses that did not meaningfully engage with the survey questions, and those that contained homophobic comments or otherwise made clear that they were not completed by members of the Hamilton Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community.
In addition to providing input on the ideal credentials of a facilitator, the composition of a Community Advisory Panel; the issues that these processes should take up; and a vision for the building of trust between Hamilton’s Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ community, respondents’ comments also focused on issues of racial equality and homelessness. Some of the responses talked about defunding police , and some respondents felt there could never be a reconciliation between Hamilton Police and the Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA community
Hamilton Police have posted a survey to allow more input on the selection of a facilitator. The survey will be open from April 1, 2022 until April 22, 2022 and is available at Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA Facilitator Nominations
Individuals suggested by the community will receive a package with detailed information on next steps, budget, scope and timelines.