The Red Pheasant First Nation said race is a factor in how RCMP police the community.

Chief Clint Wuttnee says Red Pheasant has had gang and drug violence for sometime, but that Mounties respond in a reactionary way, instead of proactive.

Leadership is commenting on the recent death of a young man in that community, which they claim could have been prevented.

“We are unable to rely on the assistance from the RCMP as a positive resource to help keep our community safe. Earlier and proactive involvement by RCMP could have prevented this unnecessary death. This is a systemic issue that is not an issue isolated to Red Pheasant,” said Wuttnee in a press release. “In addition, this young man’s body was left on display for hours, traumatizing many children and families unnecessarily, an in-action of the RCMP that would never occur off reserve.”

The RCMP is investigating the death, but Wunttnee stated he lacks confidence this investigation will be treated as seriously as those which take place outside the community.

Red Pheasant members have expressed earlier concerns of racial profiling an inadequate investigations, following the shooting death of Colten Boushie. The RCMP watchdog concluded that officers did not protect crime scene evidence and were discriminatory towards Boushie’s mother Debbie Baptiste.

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission of the RCMP found that officers informing the family of Colten’s death were insensitive. “After the RCMP members had just announced to Ms. Baptiste that her son was deceased, one member questioned her about whether she had been drinking. As the RCMP members were searching Ms. Baptiste’s home for reasons unknown to her, and Ms. Baptiste displayed distress at the news they had just given her, one member told her to “get it together.” One or more RCMP members smelled her breath,” noted a Commission report.

The Commission found that officers “The RCMP members provided Ms. Baptiste with little information about what had happened to her son, but proceeded to question her and look in places in her home where no person could be hiding. Not only did the RCMP members’ actions show little regard or compassion for Ms. Baptiste’s distress and pain, they compounded her suffering by treating her as if she was lying.”

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki agreed with the finding of discrimination by officers towards Debbie Baptiste. “It is undisputed that the manner in which the next of kin notification was communicated to the family was insensitive and demonstrated poor judgment,” wrote Lucki.

Boushie was shot and killed in August of 2016 on Gerald Stanley’s Biggar-area farm. Stanley would be acquitted in February 2018 of murder.

The RCMP said it is proactively policing the Red Pheasant community through multiple inter-agency groups and is committed to meeting the policing goals of the community. “[The] RCMP continues to investigate the homicide on Red Pheasant First Nation. All investigations are taken seriously. Currently there are RCMP resources from multiple units dedicated to this active and ongoing investigation. Many interviews have been completed and scene examinations have occurred.”