Biography: Special Advisor to Combat Human Trafficking - Shirley Cuillierrier


On September 4, 2019, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness appointed retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Assistant Commissioner and member of the Mohawks of Kanesatake, Shirley Cuillierrier, M.O.M., as Special Advisor to Combat Human Trafficking. In this interim role, she will provide expert advice to the Government on its efforts to combat human trafficking and raise awareness about this heinous crime.

In 1982, Ms. Cuillierrier joined the RCMP from Montreal and served in Atlantic Canada. In 1998, she transferred to RCMP’s National Headquarters, where she performed a variety of operational duties in Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services. Following her commission in 2004, she served as the Officer in Charge of National Aboriginal Policing Services and in 2007 was seconded to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada as the National Director of Emergency Management. She was the first Canadian recipient of the “Indian Country Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, 2007,” awarded by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and received a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for outstanding service in Indigenous recruiting.

During her tenure as the Officer in Charge, she provided operational support to human smuggling investigations and led the RCMP’s National Human Trafficking Coordination Centre. Over the course of her career and as a volunteer in the community, much of her time was devoted to supporting women and children who were victims of domestic violence. This included her work as a task force member of the Canadian Women’s Foundation (examining the trafficking of women and girls) and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking.

Ms. Cuillierrier has embraced the need for transformational change to address the current and future experiences Indigenous Canadians face in the criminal justice system, as survivors, family members of victims, witnesses or offenders. In January 2017, she was appointed the Senior Advisor on Reconciliation to advance and promote the principles of the Truth and Reconciliation – Calls to Action and to champion practical, every day acts of Reconciliation. In this position, Ms. Cuillierrier was also responsible for leading the RCMP’s response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Most notably, Ms. Cuillierrier is the recipient of both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals for her service to Canadians. In May 2017, she was invested as a Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by the Governor General of Canada; and in October 2018, was a recipient of the Governor General’s award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for advancing gender equality.

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