Manage episode 317183556 series 3302145
Ernie Louttit’s a son, brother, father and soon, a Moshum or ‘grandfather’.
He’s a Missanabie Cree from Northern Ontario. He grew up in a town call Oba, about 1,000 kilometers or a 12 & a half-hour drive north of Toronto, Canada. While now it is a place where he goes to heal his soul, it was a rough start.
He dropped out of school and started working on the railroad at age 15. In 1978 at 17, he joined the military where he stayed for 8 years. While he served, he went to Cyprus with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). Later in his career, he became a member of the Military Police, stationed in Wainwright, Alberta at the PPCLI Battle school. The largest training centre in Western Canada.
He was honorably discharged in 1987 and shortly thereafter joined the Saskatoon Police where he served as a Patrol Officer and then Patrol Sergeant for 30 years.
He was known on the streets of Saskatoon as ‘Indian Ernie’, affectionately by the people he served, and not so affectionately by the people he regularly arrested.
Since his retirement, he’s written 3 books about his experiences and the lessons they taught him. Colleagues, civilians and criminals alike have picked up his books, curious to see if their own stories might appear.
There are a number of stories that stand out, including his efforts to interfere with the source of Lysol and cooking wine sold to the desperately addicted. His testimony in the Stonechild inquiry and the so-called ‘Starlight tours’ which involved at least 2 members of the Saskatoon police driving First Nations people to the outskirts of Saskatoon, leaving them stranded in freezing temperatures. Three men died, including 17 year-old Neil Stonechild.
He proudly served in patrol for his whole career believing he could do his best work, boots on the ground, in his community instead of from behind a desk. When he retired in 2013, he carried with him thousands of stories, experiences and mental images, many of which he has not been able to shake. Writing and speaking about those experiences have helped, as well as a strong and supportive family.
McNally Robinson: (www.mcnallyrobinson.com) Indian Ernie: Perspectives on Policing and Leadership; More Indian Ernie: Insights from the Streets; The Unexpected Cop: Indian Ernie on a Life of Leadership.
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