Ever since Sierra Jamieson was a little girl, she dreamt of being a police officer.
But again and again, she was told that because she was an Indigenous woman, it was an impossible dream.
“A lot of people told me I couldn’t do it because I’m Native, and they mostly look for white people or Caucasians,” said Jamieson.
Now, the 19-year-old from Oneida Nation of Thames is entering her final year of the police foundations program at Fanshawe College.
One of the reasons Jamieson wants to become a police officer is to be a voice for Indigenous youth throughout the community.
“Me personally, I’ve never really seen a police officer who’s Indigenous. I may have seen two, but other than that, I haven’t really seen any,” she said.
Following the Black Lives Matter protests, Jamieson acknowledges it’s been tough not to feel discouraged as calls to defund the force have echoed around the globe. But she said she’s willing to work harder to prove not all police officers are depraved.
Growing up in London as an Indigenous woman
Jamieson says being raised in London meant a constant battle with racism and sexism.
“I was bullied because I was Indigenous and I never really felt accepted anywhere,” she said. “I never really felt accepted in my own Indigenous community because I was too brown for the white people and too white for the brown people.”
After several years, Jamieson says she realized a lot of what she has experienced stemmed from those around her not being properly educated. In order to combat this, she made it her priority to educate her classmates at South Collegiate Institute on the traditions and practices of her Indigenous community.
She started the First Nations, Métis, Inuit (FNMI) council and was also responsible for their first annual powwow.
Jamieson also held a discussion at South Collegiate on Canada’s 150th anniversary about the horrible truths of residential schools.
“I told them about the horrible things about residential schools because that plays a major part in my life since both my grandparents were in it,” she said.
In 2018, Jamieson was recognized for her leadership by receiving the leading women leading girls building communities award from local MPP Peggy Sattler. The award is given to women and girls who have made improvements in the lives of others.