The federal government is upping their commitment to improving First Nation policing across Canada. The government has pledged $291 million over the next five years to address challenges faced by Indigenous police services.
The funding will go toward improving salaries, hiring new officers and purchasing new equipment. Ottawa will be paying roughly 52 per cent of the funding, with provinces and territories paying the rest. The investment will begin in the next fiscal year and covers communities already served by First Nations policing programs, including the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Police Service and the Treaty Three Police Service.
In December, the OPP updated their policies for dealing with critical incidents on First Nations. The police service says their new framework places an emphasis on building relationships and dialogue. The update of the police service's framework follows the recommendations of the Ipperwash Inquiry a decade ago. In 1995, Dudley George was fatally wounded by an OPP officer, as First Nation members protested against the loss of land at Camp Ipperwash in southern Ontario.
In November, Ontario moved forward with the largest policing transformation in a generation, as they worked to modernize Ontario’s policing framework. One of the main goals of the legislation was to help support First Nations policing. It enabled First Nations to choose their policing service delivery mode, including the option to come under the same legislative framework as the rest of Ontario. The province said that this would ensure First Nations receive culturally responsive, sustainable, accountable, and equitable policing that has the flexibility to address specific community needs on their own terms.