OPP to conduct human trafficking research in Northwestern Ontario
Tim Brody - Editor
The Ontario Provincial (OPP) Police Anti-Human Trafficking Investigation Coordinator Unit, with funding from the Solicitor General of Ontario, have hired Dr. Olsen Harper, a member of Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN), to identify the reality of human trafficking in northwest Ontario and its impact on Indigenous individuals and communities.
“As human trafficking victims are often from vulnerable populations and do not identify as victims to the police, the researcher will independently gather information while providing anonymity to victims who may wish to come forward,” Ontario Provincial Police shared in a Feb. 10 media release.
“The research will serve to support the OPP with responses to this kind of crime. The researcher will consult with northern Indigenous communities and organizations in urban centres to collect information from the public, police and survivors to identify sexually exploitative human trafficking. The increased knowledge will enhance training and coordination of resources to reduce this violent crime,” Police explained.
Survivors of human trafficking can contact Dr. Harper at 249-385-7217 or [email protected].
Dr. Harper has a PhD in Education from the University of Ottawa. Her primary expertise is in anti-violence in Indigenous communities, Indigenous education/training, health and well-being, community-based participatory research, Indigenous knowledge translation and history/heritage representation.
Dr. Harper is an active board member of the Màmawi Together, Community Reconciliation in Action and supports many advisory committees that work to address Indigenous concerns.