Assembly of First Nations Supports Indigenous Police Chiefs of Ontario Federal Court Motion

Published: Jun 12, 2023Press Release

(Ottawa, ON) – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) fully supports the Indigenous Police Chiefs of Ontario (IPCO) in their fight for equitable funding for First Nations Police services in Ontario. IPCO has filed a  motion in  Federal Court requesting emergency relief and an order requiring Public Safety Canada (PSC) to suspend application of the discriminatory Terms and Conditions of funding under the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program (“FNIPP”), and to require PSC to allocate funds to Ontario First Nations Police Services on an emergency basis.

Treaty #3 Police Services, UCCM Anishinaabe Police Service, and the Anishinabek Police Service are in imminent danger of ceasing operations due to a lack of funding and adequate resourcing. This jeopardizes the health and safety of 45 First Nations with approximately 30,000 individuals and leaves these First Nations without adequate or culturally responsive police services. On June 8, 2023, the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly declared a state of emergency due to the inequitable funding for policing in its First Nations.

First Nations leadership in Ontario is frustrated with PSC’s concerted lack of response and what the CHRT has ruled is discriminatory conduct by chronic underfunding and under-resourcing of First Nations policing.

“The AFN fully supports the Federal Court Motion from the IPCO,” says AFN Quebec and Labrador Regional Chief Ghislain Picard. “The Government of Canada continues to put First Nations communities in danger with its underfunding of First Nations Police Services. The Government of Canada must fulfill its commitment to First Nations  to make First Nations Policing an essential service and providing police services with the necessary funding and resources.”

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino must fulfill their commitment to ensuring First Nations are provided with the same quality of policing as non-Indigenous communities and ensure First Nations are no longer forced into unfair and discriminatory terms and conditions under the threat of dissolution.”

In 2022, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruled that Canada discriminates against First Nations police services with respect to the funding provided under the FNIPP. Since the CHRT’s decision, Canada has continued to sidestep its obligations and chronically underfund  First Nations police services across the country.

The AFN has filed a motion to intervene in the IPCO’s Federal Court motion. The AFN will continue to advocate for First Nations policing to be recognized as an essential service and uphold First Nations inherent and Treaty rights to self-government and First Nations policing.

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.

For more information please contact:

Matthew Bisson
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
[email protected]