Agreement gives policing control of the RCMP to the Siksika Nation

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The federal government has signed an agreement that will see the Siksika Nation take control of the police on their land from the RCMP.

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The pact, first announced in July, will see Siksika become the country’s first self-administered First Nations police service in 14 years following formal approval by Ottawa, the province said in a statement on Friday.

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“Recent tragic events in Saskatchewan have underscored the importance of First Nations policing. Every individual has an inherent right to safety and security, and establishing a Siksika-administered police force will help ensure this right,” Siksika chief Ouray Crowfoot said in the statement.

The timing of the transfer and operational details have yet to be determined.

Crowfoot said Siksika already has a statutory prosecutor and is working to create a prosecutor’s office that would be the first of its kind in Canada.

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“The Siksika police and prosecution services are essential elements for a safe Siksika. It is these types of associations that make me proud to represent Siksika and to call myself an Albertan and a Canadian,” he said.

The settlement follows a landmark agreement with the federal government that awarded $1.3 billion in compensation to the Siksika Nation to settle pending land claims.

The Siksika Nation is made up of some 8,000 people on more than 700 square kilometers of land an hour east of Calgary. The nation had its own policing organization, the Siksika Nation Tribal Police Service, but provincial and federal funding was cut in 2002 after 10 years, ending the service and transferring the nation’s policing to the RCMP detachment in Gleichen.

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Crowfoot has said that while the country has a good relationship with the Mounties, officers may not be familiar with areas of the country.

In Saskatchewan, the head of James Smith’s Cree Nation, Wally Burns, called for community policing after a stab attack earlier this month in his community and the nearby town of Weldon left 11 people dead, including a suspect. , and 18 wounded.

Siksika would be the fourth self-administered First Nations police service in Alberta, joining the regional operations of the Tsuut’ina Nation, Bloody Tribe, and Lakeshore.

In June, the Alberta government announced funding for each of those services to add five officers over the next four years.

With archives from The Canadian Press

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