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In July 2022, Alberta and Siksika Nation signed a memorandum of understanding to work towards establishing a self-administered First Nations police service in Siksika. Less than two months later, Siksika Nation Chief Ouray Crowfoot and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro have successfully brokered the deal with federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino.
In the coming months, Siksika Nation and Alberta’s government will work together to demand a clear operational timeline and negotiate a transition agreement with the Government of Canada.
“Alberta’s government unequivocally supports self-administered First Nations policing. With nearly 8,000 residents and one of the largest geographic footprints of any First Nation in Canada, the Siksika Nation is ready and prepared to take this critical step and become the fourth self-administered First Nation police service in Alberta.”
“The recent tragic events in Saskatchewan have underscored the importance of First Nations policing. Every individual has the inherent right to safety and security, and establishing a Siksika- administered police force will help secure this right. This announcement is a huge step forward toward obtaining a Siksika-administered police force. Siksika has also established a bylaw prosecutor and we are developing a prosecutor office, which to my knowledge is the first of its kind in Canada. Siksika police and prosecutor services are foundational building blocks for a safe Siksika. It’s these kinds of partnerships that make me proud to represent Siksika and call myself an Albertan and a Canadian.”
Alberta’s government provided $30,000 to the Siksika Nation for a feasibility study in 2018 that led to the memorandum of understanding focused on developing a funding framework for a new police service in Siksika.
The recently announced Community Policing Grant formalizes funding the government has provided in the past and makes it more accessible to all Indigenous and municipal communities. To find out more about the grant and how to apply, please email [email protected].
If Alberta moves to a provincial police service, such as the proposed model found at futureofABpolicing.ca, the province would work with First Nations and municipalities to ensure local police services have more resources and give local Albertans more of a say in setting policing priorities.