Our Journey To Canada

Meet Constable Neil McEachrane. He is a proud Trinidad and Tobago-Canadian. Constable McEachrane is the Diversity Officer for the Windsor Police Services, a University of Windsor graduate, and is committed to celebrating Windsor's multiculturalism. While reflecting on his immigration story, this is what he had to say:


"At the age of 14 I emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada with my brother. We lived with my uncle and his family in Windsor, as my father passed away when I was 9yrs old and our family had some financial struggles.


To say I was in culture shock here in Canada is an understatement. I really knew nothing about Canada but always associated it with the U.S.A. I remember hearing of racial incidents' in the U.S.A. (Civil Rights struggles). As I tried to adjust to life in Canada I was always on guard expecting some sort of abuse based on my race. Funny thing is, I never thought about race before immigrating to Canada. Funnier thing is that I never had that negative experience I expected. Everyone I met was quite helpful.


My struggles however, were my adjustment. Not many people looked like me, sounded like me or thought like me. No Caribbean food or music, not much that I could relate to. I attended high school at W.D. Lowe, where I always felt different (as I was now considered a minority). I became withdrawn and somewhat isolated. I remember once in Social Studies class the topic of race came up. In particular, negro or black, which is the proper term. I remained silent until I was asked what I wished to be called. I looked up and answered, “Neil.” I wasn’t trying to make a statement, I was just never in the position of being referred to as anything but Neil.


After a couple years I began to find myself. My mother was big on self-respect and respect of others, working hard, and getting an education. These characteristics helped me assimilate into Canadian culture. I came to accept my new life though I missed my old life tremendously.

Seven years passed before I was able to financially afford to travel back to Trinidad and Tobago. I tried to make up for lost time. After getting married and having children I made sure that our family visited Trinidad and Tobago every two years. It was important to me that my family become familiar with our culture and I that could reminisce through them.


Becoming a police officer is one of the best things I could have done for myself, my family and my community. The past 25 years have been rewarding in a multitude of ways. As the Diversity Officer for the Windsor Police Services, I don’t think I could be happier. Working with Windsor’s multicultural community and new Canadians has allowed me to relate with their struggles and have a better understanding of our diverse community. I only wish I knew what policing was all about at an earlier age."

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