Siksika Nation has reached an agreement with the provincial and federal governments to take over policing responsibilities from the RCMP.
In July, the provincial government and Siksika Nation signed a memorandum of understanding working towards establishing a self-administered First Nations police service in Siksika.
Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro successfully brokered the deal with federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, a government of Alberta media release said.
“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’s 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,” Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot said.
Going forward, Siksika Nation and the provincial government will work together to establish an operational timeline and negotiate a transition agreement with the federal government.
“Alberta’s government unequivocally supports self-administered 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,” Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro said.
The government of Alberta allocated $30,000 to Siksika Nation for a 2018 feasibility study that was focused on developing a framework for new police service.
The new Community Policing Grant will also formalize past government funding and make it more accessible to all Indigenous and municipal communities.
If Alberta moves to a provincial police service, the province will work with First Nations and municipalities to ensure police services have the resources to give Albertans a say in setting policing priorities, the release said.