OTTAWA – First Nations Policing funding has been secured. Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo along with AFN Quebec/Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Gilbert Whiteduck met today with Public Security Minister Vic Toews to talk about long-term funding for First Nations police services in the next federal budget. This meeting was seen as encouraging and a good first step on improving public safety in First Nations communites.
First Nations Policing protected by announcement
“Our Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. Today’s announcement provides stable multi-year funding for policing services in First Nation and Inuit communities. The Harper Government has worked with First Nation and Inuit communities, and provinces and territories, to significantly improve public safety,” said Minister Toews. “Our Government will continue to support First Nation and Inuit policing as part of its ongoing commitment to keeping our streets and communities safe.”
The FNPP supports professional, dedicated and culturally-responsive policing services to First Nation and Inuit communities. FNPP funding supplements existing funding and policing services provided by provinces and territories. In 2012-13, the FNPP is funding 163 policing agreements, which represent approximately 1,250 professionally-trained and dedicated police officers working in approximately 400 First Nation and Inuit communities, serving a total population of over 338,000.
“We welcome this announcement by Minister Toews. An immediate renewal of funding and then a commitment to working towards long term sustainability is very important. Now we must turn our attention to all jurisdictions working together to strengthen and secure First Nations policing through partnership and innovation. It is essential that promote and deliver on safety and security for all of our communities,” said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.
Following this meeting today, in the House of Commons, the Government of Canada announced that funding for policing agreements with First Nation and Inuit communities will be renewed under the First Nations Policing Program (FNPP) and further committed to entering this funding into a multi-year agreement for the next five years
“Today’s announcement represents a concrete and important step in the right direction for First Nations as there is First Nations police services in most of our regions. We look forward to working with all First Nations to keep pushing this progress forward,” said AFN Justice Portfolio holder, Alberta Regional Chief Cameron Alexis. “As we continue this work, I would also like to offer our appreciation for the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association for their advocacy and support for our communities.”
AFN and Native Women’s Association of Canada will host a National Forum on Community Safety and Ending Violence April 9 and 10, 2013.