A group of police cadet graduates stand in line in uniform
Police Cadet Training graduation ceremony held Sept. 2, 2022 at Lethbridge College.

Lethbridge College will soon be offering an Indigenous Policing (Niitsitapi Inakiikawaiks) microcredential program.

The suite of microcredentials – short-term, flexible learning programs designed for re-skilling or upskilling – will provide culturally appropriate education to Indigenous police services as they work to address the needs of their communities. Courses will be delivered online for asynchronous self-paced learning and will be available to current officers, cadets and – where appropriate – Lethbridge College School of Justice students.

“Current cadet training in Western Canada is not specific to Indigenous policing,” says Trudi Mason, Dean of the Centre for Justice and Human Services. “These microcredentials will focus on restorative justice and community-based policing and will begin to bridge the gap identified by our industry partners.”

Based on consultations with partner police services, Lethbridge College will offer six microcredentials within the Indigenous Policing program: domestic violence/elder abuse, sexual abuse/human trafficking, impaired driving, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)/drug matters, writing and tribal policing.

The CDSA/drug matters microcredential is on track for an early spring delivery. The remaining five microcredentials are being developed to launch in the fall.

A police chief shakes hands with a police cadet graduate
Blood Tribe Police Chief Grant Buckskin with Kirsten Barwegen (Criminal Justice - Policing 2019, Justice Studies - Bachelor of Applied Arts 2021) who joined the Blood Tribe Police Service following graduation from the Police Cadet Training program in September 2022.

“I am pleased to see the development of these microcredentials as we work collaboratively with Lethbridge College to enhance policing in our community and beyond,” says Blood Tribe Police Chief Grant Buckskin. “The Blood Tribe Police Service has worked closely with the college for several years through its Police Cadet Training program and we look forward to continued success with the new course offerings.”

Completion of the Indigenous Policing microcredential program will be recognized with digital badges issued on the Badgr platform.

The new program also has potential for growth.

“It’s not a stretch to think this suite of microcredentials could lead to an academic credential program similar to our existing Police Cadet Training program,” says Mason. “Six tribal police services across four provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – have already expressed interest in being involved.”

Indigenous Policing is one of five microcredential programs being developed at Lethbridge College over the next two years due, in part, to $376,150 in provincial funding from the Alberta at Work initiative.

For more information on Lethbridge College’s new Indigenous Policing microcredentials, contact [email protected].