Ottawa, ON – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) congratulates Dominic LeBlanc on his appointment as Minister of Public Safety and urges him to prioritize the safety and security of First Nations communities across the country.
During the AFN Annual General Assembly in Halifax earlier this month, several resolutions were passed to enhance the safety and security for First Nations. AFN Resolution 42/2023, Support for Legal Challenge by Three First Nations Police Services (Anishinabek Police Service, Treaty 3 Police Service, and UCCM Anishinaabe Police Service), calls upon the federal government to create a plan for negotiating revised Terms and Conditions with all First Nations that receive funding under the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program (FNIPP), to make sure that funding fulfils the guarantee of equitable policing, as outlined in the 1996 policy.
AFN Resolution #41/2023, Support for Equitable Funding for First Nations Policing, directs the AFN to call upon the Government of Canada to recognize and uphold First Nations inherent, Treaty and constitutional rights in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It also directs the AFN to re-engage with Public Safety Canada (PSC) and co-develop policing legislation on conditions. This includes calling for Minister of Public Safety to promptly meet with the AFN Policing Taskforce and appoint a representative with experience in working with First Nations and an understanding of First Nations rights and policing, to engage with AFN.
“I welcome Dominic LeBlanc to the role of Public Safety Minister,” says AFN Quebec-Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard. “While we recognize a transition period may be necessary for the new Minister to familiarize himself with the portfolio, First Nations Policing must be an immediate priority. The safety and security of First Nations people and communities cannot wait. Minister LeBlanc must prioritize negotiating a fair deal for First Nations policing services through the FNIPP. He must also meet with us as soon as possible to discuss a path forward.”
“Minister LeBlanc has an opportunity to demonstrate his immediate support for the safety and security of First Nations communities,” said AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “By committing to meeting with the AFN Policing Task Force and providing equitable funding for First Nations Police Forces, he can ensure officers have the necessary resources to protect those residing on reserve. We eagerly await his response.”
The AFN will continue to pursue a true co-development process with Minister LeBlanc and PSC to solidify First Nations Policing as an essential service.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
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Assemblée des Premières Nations