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First Nations Sign Policing Agreement

(Press Release, March 28,1994)

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      APRIL 1994      v23 n03 p11  
Saskatchewan's first community tripartite agreement for RCMP First Nations Community Policing Service was signed today by Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bob Mitchell, Chief Blaine Favel of Poundmaker First nation, Chief Ron Thunder of the Little Pine First Nation and Gordon Kirkby, MP for Prince Albert Churchill River. Mr. Kirkby was attending the ceremony on behalf of federal Solicitor General Herb Gray.

Poundmaker Chief Blaine Favel and Little Pine chief Ron Thunder
Poundmaker Chief Blaine Favel and Little Pine Chief Ron Thunder

The formal agreement will improve existing RCMP First Nations Community Policing Services for the Poundmaker and Little Pine First Nations.

"Effective and accountable policing services are essential to the establishment of community based justice systems," said Chief Favel. "Through this agreement, we will have First Nations police officers that take direction from our communities, are accountable to our communities and understand and respect our culture."

"Elders are valued members of our society ,"

Said Chief Thunder. "Police well benefit greatly from the elders' wisdom and their standing in the community to ensure the safety and security of our people and the maintenance of peace and good order in our communities."

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bob Mitchell and M.P. Gordon Kirby signing the Historic Agreement
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bob Mitchell and M.P. Gordon Kirby signing the Historic Agreement

The RCMP, Little Pine and Poundmaker Policing Unit will have three resident First Nations officers. Elders in the community will be directly involved in assisting the police in their work. A police Management Board consisting of representatives from both Nations will also work closely with the police to identify concerns and establish policing priorities. "This community tripartite agreement dramatically strengthens police accountability to the Poundmaker and Little Pine First Nations," said Mitchell.

"These agreements are on step in increasing First Nations Management of policing to ensure responsive and effective protection for their communities."

Signing of the Agreement
Signing of the Agreement

In 1981, the Poundmaker First Nation was the first reserve to have a satellite RCMP detachment. Since that time, satellite detachments have been established on a number of reserves and approximately 11 per cent of the RCMP members serving Saskatchewan are of Aboriginal descent. "This agreement marks a significant step forward in providing culturally sensitive policing services to the people of these nations," Kirkby Said. "The Government of Canada is pleased to be working with the First Nations and the Province of Saskatchewan to bring about positive change for policing in these communities," In May, 1993, the federal and provincial governments and F.S.I.N signed a framework policing agreement , so 72 First Nations in Saskatchewan could negotiate formal agreements for the RCMP First Nations Community Policing Service. The RCMP, Little Pine, Poundmaker Agreement is the first to be signed under the framework. Several other First Nations are expected to sign agreements in the next year.