New funding for Six Nations of the Grand River to support anti-gang programming
July 22, 2022 - Ohsweken, Ontario
Advancing innovative, Indigenous-led initiatives to keep people safe is central to both maintaining public safety in First Nations communities and advancing reconciliation. That is why the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous leaders to take action on guns and gangs. The most important element of this plan is preventing violence from happening in the first place, which is why the government launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March 2022, the BSCF supports local initiatives to prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices.
Today, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, and Chief Mark B. Hill, announced that the Six Nations of the Grand River will receive up to $1.9 million under the Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF.) This funding will support initiatives that tackle the root causes of gun crime, supporting community-led projects to combat violence among young people who are involved in gangs, or at risk of joining them.
Six Nations of the Grand River is the first of many Indigenous communities who will benefit from funding under the BSCF. The Government of Canada is currently working with communities across the country to put contribution agreements in place as quickly as possible. This funding is one element of broader efforts to improve public safety in Indigenous communities, including working with First Nations partners to co-develop legislation recognizing First Nations policing as an essential service, and increasing funding for police services under the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program.
No one program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun and gang violence on its own. That is why the BSCF is a key element of the Government’s comprehensive plan to keep Canadians safe. This includes major investments at our borders to stop gun smuggling, a proposed national freeze on handguns, new proposed “red flag” laws to stop domestic violence, the banning of more than 1,500 models of assault-style firearms, and the development of a buyback program, to get guns off of our streets.
“Walking the road of reconciliation means supporting grassroots initiatives in First Nations communities, by First Nations communities. This funding from the BSCF will help support the great work that’s already happening on the ground, helping people make healthy choices and set themselves up for success in life. I look forward to seeing the difference it makes for young people across Six Nations.”
- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“Protecting the safety and security of families is the first responsibility of any governing authority, and Six Nations families want a safe and secure community in which to raise our children. This is just one step, but an important one, towards building that more secure future.”
- Chief Mark B. Hill, Six Nations of the Grand River
Budget 2021 announced $861 million over five years, beginning in 2021-2022, to support culturally responsive policing and community safety services in Indigenous communities.
The Government has been engaging to help inform the co-development of federal First Nations police services legislation. A “What we heard” report will soon be released, along with continued dialogue.
The amount of BSCF support for a community is based on two major elements: crime severity (homicide by firearm, incidents of firearms offences, organized crime/street gang-involved crime) and population.
The BSCF builds on the success of the Initiative To Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence, a $358.8 million investment over five years that brings together federal, provincial and territorial supports to tackle the increase in gun-related violence and gang activity in Canada.
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada
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