Policing in Indigenous Communities
First Nations Policing Program
Public Safety Canada provides funding to support policing services that are professional, dedicated and responsive to the First Nation and Inuit communities they serve. The Program operates in accordance with the First Nations Policing Policy, a national framework for the provision of policing services in First Nation and Inuit communities. Policing services are supported through tripartite policing agreements among the federal government, provincial or territorial governments, and First Nation or Inuit communities. The federal and provincial/territorial governments each provide funding for these agreements.
There are two main types of policing agreements:
- Self-administered Police Service Agreements, where a First Nation or Inuit community manages its own police service under provincial policing legislation and regulations; and
- Community Tripartite Agreements, where a dedicated contingent of officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provides policing services to a First Nation or Inuit community.
In 2015-2016, the FNPP provided over $120 million in funding for:
- 185 policing agreements, policing a population of approximately 432,000 people; and
- 1299 police officers in over 450 First Nation and Inuit communities.
Funding for First Nation and Inuit Policing Facilities
In the November 2018, the Government of Canada created a new program, Funding for First Nation and Inuit Policing Facilities, to provide better policing infrastructure for the people who live and work in Indigenous communities.
Through the program, the Government of Canada is investing $88.6 million over seven years, starting in 2019, to improve policing facilities in First Nation and Inuit communities. These investments will support First Nation and Inuit communities to ensure their policing infrastructure meets building, policing facility, and health and safety standards.
Much has changed in the policing world since the early 1990s, when the First Nations Policing Policy was first introduced. Although the Program has had a measurable and positive impact in the First Nation and Inuit communities in which it operates, Indigenous communities continue to face higher crime rates than the rest of Canada, with unique socio-economic factors.
“I want to listen very carefully to hear what you have to say and to benefit from the advice and the wisdom that you represent.”
-The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, speaking at the Assembly of First Nations’ Indigenous Public Safety and Policing Forum on March 30, 2016 in Regina, SK.
The Government of Canada is committed to building a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples, with the chance to reset this important relationship based on respect, cooperation and partnership. This includes working more closely with Indigenous organizations and communities to support shared priorities and better address their needs. Policing and community safety is no exception. For example:
- On September 8th, 2016, Minister Goodale launched a national stakeholder engagement process on policing in Indigenous communities. Gathering input on best practices and areas for improvement from a wide range of stakeholders, Public Safety Canada officials engaged with Indigenous organizations and communities, provincial and territorial governments, police services and associations, and academic experts. This process included regional meetings, stakeholder-led events, and a national online survey. The information gathered through this process will help address the policing and public safety needs of Indigenous communities.
- Through Budget 2017, the Government of Canada allocated $13.7 million over two years to support new Permanent Bilateral Mechanisms with three National Indigenous Organizations – the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council – where Indigenous leaders can engage with federal Ministers to develop policy on shared priorities and to monitor progress moving forward. These discussions cover a wide range of issues, including policing in Indigenous communities.
- Stemming from the Permanent Bilateral Mechanisms, on June 12th, 2017, the Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities. Policing and community safety issues in First Nations were identified as one these joint priorities.
Moving forward, Public Safety Canada will continue to engage with Indigenous organizations and communities, as well as provincial and territorial governments, to ensure that Indigenous communities across the country continue to benefit from professional, dedicated, and culturally responsive policing
Indigenous Policing News
Minister Blair announces $1.5 million for Assembly of First Nations
December 9, 2020
Government of Canada is investing in safer First Nation and Inuit police facilities
November 15, 2018
$291.2 million to be invested in the safety and security of Indigenous communities
January 10, 2018
- More Indigenous Policing News Releases
Indigenous Policing Publications and Reports
- Joining The Circle - Identifying Key Ingredients for Effective Police Collaboration within Indigenous Communities
- Police Services and Inuit in Nunavik (Arctic Québec) Knowing each other better to help each other better
- Examining Police Policies and Practices in Mi’kma’ki – Pathways to Positive Policing Relationships
- Addressing Gendered Violence against Inuit Women: A review of police policies and practices in Inuit Nunangat
- Toward Peace, Harmony, and Well-Being: Policing in Indigenous Communities
- More Indigenous Policing Publications and Reports
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