Sgt. Edith Turner was selected to receive this year's 's Blue Line Police Leadership Award to recognize her outstanding commitment both to the people of Winnipeg and the entire Province of Manitoba.
Through her many years of dedicated service as a member of the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS), Turner has continuously striven to strengthen the relationships between the service and the aboriginal community. She has shared her skills with officers locally, nationally and internationally.
Turner dedicates her personal time to volunteer work in her home community Cree Nation and in Winnipeg to improve the well-being of aboriginal people throughout Manitoba.
During her 21 year career as a police officer, Turner has worked in many areas of the WPS – uniform operations, community relations aboriginal & diversity unit and sections investigating organized crime, drugs and gangs.
Turner's skills in police work have been recognized nation-wide. Her assistance to other jurisdictions have been appreciated and formally recognized by many law enforcement and governmental agencies on the national and provincial levels. Turner was recognized by CISO Director Det. Insp. Al Bush and Hamilton Police Service Chief Brian Mullan for her exemplary work with them.
Turner was invited to assist in training with the Canadian Police College and CISO and has been instrumental in mentoring many aboriginal police officers from across Canada, sharing her unique perspective and enhancing their skill sets. This in turn enables them to share their knowledge with the next generation of police officers in their respective jurisdictions.
As a child of residential school survivors, Turner understands the negative impact of the systematic destruction of many aboriginal families. As a police officer, she has strived to provide youth with positive role models. Turner has worked on numerous steering committees, including the Bear Clan Gathering Committee, Indian & Metis Friendship Centre's programs like Girls Empowering Together and at the West-End Women's Resource Centre.
Prior to the establishment of the Manitoba Integrated Task Force for Murder & Missing Women community leaders sought out Turner as a key person to bring all sides together. She helped establish open discussions about the lack of progress and police contact with families. Turner continues to reach out to aboriginal leaders to bridge the gap, assisting task force investigators.
Turner also demonstrates leadership outside the service. She has been a volunteer member of the Canadian Amphibious Search Team (CAST) Central region since 2001. The team assists families with search and recovery efforts when a loved one is lost on the waterways and local law enforcement are unable to continue their recovery efforts.
Throughout her career Turner has recognized the need to develop stronger relationship between police and the aboriginal community. She turned her knowledge about long standing treaty issues into an opportunity to become involved with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.
Turner was instrumental in encouraging the WPS to be a key partner in the commission assisting the "We Are All Treaty People" campaign, which focused on education about treaty issues. The positive changes made thanks to the campaign strengthened the relationship between the service and the aboriginal community.
Assembly of First Nations Chief Sean Atleo honoured Turner at the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak National Assembly in 2010 for her dedication in mentoring aboriginal youth, providing positive role models and breaking through employment barriers in her work with the Winnipeg Diversity Unit.
Turner has received many awards recognizing her years of dedication and exceptional work in strengthening relationships between the WPS and the aboriginal community, including: Manitoba Excellence in Law Enforcement Award in 2011, the WPS James Toal Award of Excellence and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
She was a finalist in the Manitoba YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Leadership Category and was nominated for a leadership award with the International Association of Women Police in 2013.