"Many of these people don't see their children very often. Some maybe don't see their children at all. They've made choices and they have to live with those choices. They've given up on getting anything better for themselves ... but they still have hope for their children, so that their children don't end up in the same place and in the same position as them."
Aboriginal Program Coordinator
at the Prince George Regional Correctional Centre
Allan Teschuk humbly deflected attention away from himself as he explained why inmates at Prince George Regional Correctional Centre (PGRCC) chose to give the money they had raised to the D.A.R.E.'s Keepin' it REAL program. And, in a few words, Allan spoke straight to the heart of the program: give children the chance to learn how to make healthy choices, regardless of their circumstances and background, to resist peer pressure and bullying, and to stand firm in their own search for self-respect and self-determination.
The team at D.A.R.E. BC received a cheque for a little over $560 – a modest donation compared with those provided by the necessary corporate grants that mainly support the RCMP-driven initiative. But the story behind the donation speaks loudly to the mandate of D.A.R.E. BC.
Volunteers at PGRCC taught inmates how to cook bannock the traditional way. Once bannock was produced, it was offered for purchase among the inmates. According to members at PGRCC, inmates had the option to use the funds raised for personal needs. Instead, the inmates collectively decided that the funds should go to a worthy cause that was close to their hearts. Drugs, alcohol abuse and violence in many cases are reasons why these individuals are in custody; therefore, they understand that education about these issues can push their children to make the choices they wish they had. Mr. Teschuk knew that by informing the inmates about the D.A.R.E. program, they would be inclined to contribute.
"Many of these people don't see their children very often. Some maybe don't see their children at all. They've made choices and they have to live with those choices. They've given up on getting anything better for themselves ... but they still have hope for their children, so that their children don't end up in the same place and in the same position as them," he said.
"Today, there are 23 DARE communities in the North District with almost 3,000 youth receiving this training. Some active DARE communities include Bella Coola, Quesnel, Tsay-Keh and Takla Landing," said Staff Sergeant Major Howard. "The RCMP deliver many messages to the people we serve. The preventative value, and education against drug and substance abuse, is certainly an important cause supported through our relationship with the DARE program."
An award of appreciation for the donation was presented to: Prince George Regional Correctional Centre; Lori Pruce, Director of Aboriginal Programs; and Allan Teschuk, Coordinator of Aboriginal Programs at PGRCC.