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Chiefs' Conference Honours Special Constables

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      FEBRUARY/MARCH 1980      v10 n2-3 p17  
Special recognition and special presentations were made to the five original Special Indian Constables at a banquet during the recent all-Chiefs' Policy Conference in Regina. Cliff Starr, one of the Program's main instigators, told those assembled at the banquet that the idea for formation of the Special Indian Constables' Program first was born in 1970-71.

Cliff said the reasons for the Program's birth were to improve the relationship between police and the Indian people on reserves. The Chiefs and Councils of the province had given that direction, and, at a Conference in 1971, a resolution was passed for the Executive to follow up on, to negotiate for three options, those included: a) getting a complete Indian police force in Saskatchewan; b) getting a Band Constable Program into existence (this had been tried before, but was phased out by the Department of Indian Affairs); c) something called the 3 (b) option: that is, a special Indian Constable program, and that was the one decided upon.

In order to implement this 3 (b) option, negotiations had to be conducted between the Solicitor-General's Department, the Attorney-General's Department, the FSI, and the department of Indian Affairs. Purposes of the Special Constables' program include: 1.) to provide improved policing on Reserves; 2.) to commence a program where Indian people are policed by Indian people; 3.) to develop a following for, and subsequent acceptance by Band Councils and Indian people of, greater responsibility in law enforcement; 4.) to establish a vehicle for better communication between the police and the Indian people in general; 5.) to provide an opportunity for those people interested in law enforcement through the RCMP, and also look at policing as a career.

Cliff described the Indian Special Constable Program as just one part of what will hopefully become a total system.

In the fall of 1974, applications began to come in. There were 28 from across the province, and, of these, eight were engaged in training in 1975. Seven of these people finished the training program, and five of those seven who are still with the force today were honoured at the banquet.

Chief Solomon Sanderson made the presentation to Jack McLean, originally from the James Smith Reserve. Jack was first posted to Punnichy detachment, then he was transferred to the Prince Albert Detachment, and he is now working out of Regina as the Assistant Native Placing Co-ordinator.

The presentation to Greg Noolchoos was made by Doug Cuthand. Greg, from Buffalo River, has been posted to Buffalo Narrows's detachment for five years. Steve Pooyak made the presentation to Doug Moosomin. Doug is originally from the Mosquito Reserve. He is originally posted to the North Battleford Rural Detachment, and is now in Blaine Lake.

Brian Bellegarde received his presentation from Ken Sparvier. Brian, originally from Little Black Bear, was posted first to Little Black Bear, but now works out of the Meadow Lake detachment.

Tony Cote made the presentation to Archie Kayseas of Fishing Lake. Archie was originally posted to Kamsack, and is now with the detachment at Rose Valley.

Each of the special constables was presented with a portrait, and with a pin and tie clip from the Indian Veterans' Associations. All the portraits were done by Denny Morrison from snapshots.

Jack McLean was asked to respond on behalf of all the special constables honoured.

In his address, Jack described the presentations as a real honour, and gave special thanks to all the constables' wives. He said they deserve a lot of credit, and had to stick with the Constables through a lot of hard times. He told the banquet guests that it would be too much to attempt to inform them what the constables had been through.

Following McLean's address, there was an exchange of gifts between Assistant Commissioner R.S. Mills of the RCMP and Chief Sanderson of the FSI.

Following the presentations, Chief Sanderson gave his thanks to the Commissioner on behalf of the FSI for its contribution to the Indian Criminal Justice System. Commissioner Mills, in turn, said that on behalf of the Force, he would like to thank the people who pioneered the Indian Special Constable Program indicating the Constables present.

He told the banquet guests that these men continue to lead by example.

The five constables represent the Assiniboine, Cree, Chipweyan, and Saulteaux Nations.

Special Constables
ORIGINAL SPECIAL CONSTABLES HONOURED
Senator John B. Tootoosis(left) and Chief Solomon Sanderson join the five original Special Indian Constables:  Archie Kayseas, Fishing Lake; Jack McLean, James Smith; Doug Moosomin, Mosquito; Brian Bellegarde, Little Black Bear and Greg Noolchoos, Buffalo River.