Canada's NDP

Skip to main content

March 22nd, 2024

NDP MPs call out Liberals for failing First Nations and Inuit Policing Program

OTTAWA—On Tuesday, the Auditor General (AG) released a report indicating serious concerns about the First Nations Inuit and Policing Program. The AG stated that “Public Safety Canada’s and the RCMP’s actions are not aligned with building trust with First Nations and Inuit communities.”

NDP Public Safety critic MP Peter Julian (New Westminister-Burnaby) and NDP Indigenous Services critic MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut) slammed the Liberals for failing to protect First Nations and Inuit communities and say the program urgently needs to be fixed.

“It is incredibly concerning that after the Liberals made a $500 million investment in 2021, the AG could barely find any improvements in First Nations and Inuit policing,” said Julian. “Where has all this money gone? Indigenous communities deserve to know.”

The First Nations and Inuit Policing Program is supposed to provide communities with a dedicated RCMP officer with services that are tailored to their needs. But the AG report found that only 38 per cent of communities had a dedicated officer, and Public Safety Canada was not working in partnership with Indigenous communities to provide equitable and appropriate services.

"The RCMP has enforced colonial and genocidal policies to oppress Indigenous peoples for decades,” said Idlout. “There is deep-seeded trauma and a distrust of the police in Indigenous communities. It is appalling that the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program did not involve culturally specific training to understand the culture of the community officers are serving. To work toward reconciliation, we need more of an effort to hire Indigenous law enforcement and to incorporate Indigenous laws. These omissions perpetuate the systemic racism and over-representation in the justice system.

“The NDP will fight to ensure Indigenous peoples can live in safe communities, with culturally appropriate policing.”