Brenda Butterworth-Carr First Aboriginal Woman Promoted to Commanding Officer of the RCMP

by Frank Larue

Brenda Butterworth-Carr

Brenda Butterworth-Carr is the first Indigenous woman to head the RCMP’s B.C. division. (RCMP)

Born in the Yukon, a member of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in Han Nation, Brenda Butterworth-Carr has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for 30 years.

“I’ve always kept in my mind why I joined the organization in the first place and that was to influence and affect positive change. I come from a First Nation where we strive for equality,” said Butterworth-Carr.

Butterworth-Carr’s career began in the Yukon in 1987 as one member of a three person detachment.

After the Yukon she went on to serve in the National HQ in Ottawa, followed by a tour of duty in Saskatchewan where she was eventually promoted to commanding officer.

“Her career has been diverse and has provided her with a strong understanding of the provincial, municipal and First Nations service agreements,” Public Safety Minister Mike Morris told the CBC.

When Butterworth-Carr returned to British Columbia in 2016 she did so as Officer in charge of Criminal Operations Core Policing.

“My experience has lent credibility to what I bring to the organization, from the smallest detachments in the north to larger municipal detachments, and certainly on a national level,” Butterworth-Carr is quoted in the Vancouver Sun. “I don’t shy away from any challenges.”

One challenge facing Butterworth-Carr is addressing sexual harassment, a behavior she says, as does any other inappropriate behavior, that needs to be met with a policy of zero tolerance.

“Any kind of inappropriate behavior, sexual in nature, or otherwise. We are a force of inclusion and equality, and we strive for that. Anything less than that is unacceptable,” explained Butterworth-Carr.

Butterworth-Carr supports and prioritizes the building and maintaining of a strong connection between police and the people of all communities, large and small.

“One thing very critical to me is to continue the engagement in all of our communities in a very collaborative manner. Police services are not done in isolation,” said Butterworth-Carr. “I believe that together we’re stronger, and that will continue to be our focus as we move into the future.”

Butterworth-Carr currently serves as chairwoman of the RCMP’s National Women’s Advisory Committee, is a member of the Canadian and International Association of Chiefs of Police, and a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces.

Brenda Butterworth-Carr is the first Aboriginal woman promoted to Commanding Officer on the B.C. RCMP. Her promotion to this position means the door is now open for other Aboriginal women to be considered for high profile positions in police roles. She is more than deserving and will do an excellent job.