Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine signs a Protocol with the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association



    OTTAWA, Nov. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Today's signing of a protocol by the
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Chiefs of Police
Association (FNCPA) marks the beginning of a new partnership to improve police
services for First Nations communities.
    "We will take a look at the First Nations police services that are in
place now, and see what needs to be done to ensure our communities are being
provided with policing services that are equal in every respect, including
funding levels, to those provided in non-First Nations communities," said
National Chief Phil Fontaine. "We will work towards ensuring First Nations
police forces are well-trained, well-funded, and well-respected."
    The federal government's First Nations Policing Policy was introduced in
1991 to provide aboriginal people across Canada with access to police services
that are professional, effective, culturally appropriate, and accountable to
the communities they serve. However, some of self-administered First Nations
police forces are having difficulty functioning, due to a lack of resources
from the federal and provincial governments.
    "The inability of either the Canadian or provincial government to take
ownership and responsibility for aboriginal policing leaves a fundamental
vacuum in our ability to conduct proper policing for our communities," said
Brian Rupert, the President of FNCPA. "One major void is the lack of capital
funding to construct proper facilities for the numerous aboriginal police
services in existence today. Some police services have been fortunate in
acquiring construction loans from commercial financial institutions to erect
their buildings. But most are not so fortunate."
    "All we need to is look at what happened in Kashechewan," said National
Chief Phil Fontaine. "Two people died in a fire in the community's police
facility nearly two years ago. The federal and provincial governments need to
make sure all police facilities in First Nations communities are safe to work
in."

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor, Office of
the National Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext 243, cell (613) 298-6382, npine@afn.ca;
Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336,
cell (613) 327-6331, jbellemare@afn.ca


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