“Indigenous Public Safety and Policing Forum” was a step toward change for indigenous peoples

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Indigenous Public Safety and Policing Forum took place on March 30th,  in Regina, Saskatchewan, bringing together more than 80 delegates and speakers, including AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde and The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

“This forum brought together many of the parties required to create justice systems that work for our people and communities,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “I am encouraged by the many community driven approaches underway.  Our people will continue to lead the way in developing creative solutions built upon our traditional values and First Nations justice systems with a goal of improving public safety and policing for First Nations and others across Canada.”

“Undertaking this meaningful conversation with our Indigenous and public safety partners on issues related to gaps in  services in the criminal justice system, community safety and policing is a step in the right direction toward fulfilling the Government of Canada’s commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” said Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale.

The Forum featured discussions on Gaps in Services in the Criminal Justice System; Community Safety Plans and Protocols; Policing; and connections to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.  There was a commitment from the federal government to renew, support and, based on direction from First Nations, revise where necessary the First Nations policing Program.

The Forum brought together Indigenous organizations, federal and provincial policing organizations and other organizations to begin a dialogue on working towards improved public safety and policing for Indigenous communities and people.  Participants included representatives from the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the RCMP, Office of the Correctional Investigator, First Nation Chiefs of Police, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Indigenous Bar Association, Correctional Services Canada and others.

The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates and visit the AFN website at www.afn.ca.