Minister Blair announces $1.5 million for Assembly of First Nations
December 9, 2020
All Canadians have a right to receive professional police services to help ensure the safety of their communities.
Yesterday, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced funding of up to $1.5 million to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN).
The funding is intended to support the AFN to engage in initial dialogue and launch discussions recognizing the AFN as an important partner in First Nations policing reforms, and to lay the groundwork for a framework and plan to begin discussions towards co-developing legislation which recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service.
The Prime Minister mandated the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, to co-develop a legislative framework for First Nations policing, which recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service. Collaborative engagement with federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous representatives will be crucial to advance this work.
Minister Blair is continuing conversations with Indigenous leaders from across the country to explore how best to work together to achieve this, and how to better meet the needs of Indigenous communities for culturally responsive police services.
This funding represents an important initial step in laying the groundwork for discussions with the AFN towards a framework and plan. Working with Indigenous communities and organizations, provinces and territories, and police organizations will be key in advancing the development of a legislative framework that provides an adequate, sustained and consistent funding framework for First Nations policing.
“I am committed to co-developing legislation that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service, and to addressing gaps in policing for First Nations. To achieve that commitment, I am very pleased to announce funding of $1.5 million for the Assembly of First Nations, as an important first step in laying the groundwork.”
- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Since 1991, the Government has funded policing for First Nation and Inuit communities through a discretionary program called the First Nations Policing Program.
While the Program has had a significant and measurable positive impact on the safety of approximately 450 communities, many communities remain unfunded and unable to access the program.
Indigenous leaders and other stakeholders have long demanded that policing in Indigenous communities be made an essential service, not a program, just as it is in non-Indigenous communities.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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