Prairie Post (West Edition)

Siksika Nation to take over policing from RCMP

- CONTRIBUTE­D

The Siksika Nation and the government­s of Alberta and Canada have reached a deal allowing the nation to take over policing responsibi­lities from the RCMP, creating Canada’s first self-administer­ed First Nation police service in 14 years.

In July 2022, Alberta and Siksika Nation signed a memorandum of understand­ing to work towards establishi­ng a selfadmini­stered First Nations police service in Siksika. Less than two months later, Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro have successful­ly brokered the deal with federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino.

In the coming months, Siksika Nation and Alberta’s government will work together to demand a clear operationa­l timeline and negotiate a transition agreement with the Government of Canada.

“The recent tragic events in Saskatchew­an have underscore­d the importance of First Nations policing. Every individual has the inherent right to safety and security, and establishi­ng a Siksika- administer­ed police force will help secure this right. This announceme­nt is a huge step forward toward obtaining a Siksika-administer­ed police force. Siksika has also establishe­d a bylaw prosecutor and we are developing a prosecutor office, which to my knowledge is the first of its kind in Canada. Siksika police and prosecutor services are foundation­al building blocks for a safe Siksika. It’s these kinds of partnershi­ps that make me proud to represent Siksika and call myself an Albertan and a Canadian,” explained Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation.

“Alberta’s government unequivoca­lly supports selfadmini­stered First Nations policing. With nearly 8,000 residents and one of the largest geographic footprints of any First Nation in Canada, the Siksika Nation is ready and prepared to take this critical step and become the fourth self-administer­ed First Nation police service in Alberta,” added Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

Quick facts

• Alberta’s government provided $30,000 to the Siksika Nation for a feasibilit­y study in 2018 that led to the memorandum of understand­ing focused on developing a funding framework for a new police service in Siksika.

• The recently announced Community Policing Grant formalizes funding the government has provided in the past and makes it more accessible to all Indigenous and municipal communitie­s. To find out more about the grant and how to apply, please email JSG.engagement@gov.ab.ca.

• If Alberta moves to a provincial police service, such as the proposed model found at futureofAB­policing. ca, the province would work with First Nations and municipali­ties to ensure local police services have more resources and give local Albertans more of a say in setting policing priorities.

 ?? Government of Alberta photo ?? Justice Minister and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro and Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot sign a memorandum of understand­ing on safety and public security for members of the Siksika Nation.
Government of Alberta photo Justice Minister and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro and Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot sign a memorandum of understand­ing on safety and public security for members of the Siksika Nation.
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