The announcement of increased funding for Indigenous police forces by the federal government is being celebrated by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, but the organization still wants more action to be taken.
The FSIN noted that the planned investments would only impact locations under the 32 community tripartite agreements in the province.
The agreements serve 48 of the existing 74 First Nations communities in Saskatchewan.
“From an operational policing perspective, any increase in dollars is a positive step in (the) effort to address increasing rates of crime and violence on-reserve,” said FSIN Vice-Chief, Kimberly Jonathan.
In a release, Jonathan cited info from a document written by Public Safety Canada known as the 2014-2015 Evaluation of the First Nation Policing Program Final Report, to help reinforce the importance of First Nations law enforcement.
“From 2004 to 2013, the overall volume of crime in FNPP [First Nation Policing Program] communities declined, as it did in the rest of Canada. However, the incidents of crime on-reserve still remained almost four times higher, and incidents of violent crime were about six times higher than the rest of Canada,” stated the Vice-Chief.
Although the announcement for the allocation of funding to CTA’s came from Ottawa, the FSIN is calling for further support from both the provincial and federal governments.
“Canada and the province of Saskatchewan ought to engage First Nation communities to address the need to establish additional self-administered policing services within the province, as well as supporting those First Nation communities who have not entered into community tripartite agreements,” remarked Jonathan.
Funding for Indigenous police forces is set to increase by 57 per cent, from $102 million to $175.5 million between now and 2023. Currently, the File Hills Police Service is the only Indigenous police force in the province.
(PHOTO: FSIN logo. Photo courtesy of fsin.com)