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Saskatchewan to study implementation of Indigenous-led police services

An investment to support the implementation of effective and culturally appropriate police services for Prince Albert Grand Council member communities has been announced.

On Friday, federal Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc, Saskatchewan Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety Paul Merriman and Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte, announced more than $1.4 million to fund a study that will look into implementing Indigenous-led police services.

Click to play video: 'Indigenous groups focus on First Nation policing after inquest'

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“Our government is working collaboratively with the Prince Albert Grand Council to put in place policing services which are responsive to their particular realities,” LeBlanc stated in a release. “Today’s announcement is in keeping with the collaborative approach which has guided us throughout our discussions. I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure the safety of their member communities.”

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Merriman stated the province is proud to partner with PAGC and to invest in the future of First Nations policing and community safety.

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“This is one of many steps the province is taking to ensure our communities are safe, secure and strong,” Merriman stated.

Hardlotte added that the contribution agreement is a key milestone in their partnership with the federal and provincial governments to advance culturally sensitive policing for the communities that PAGC represents. Twelve First Nations comprising 28 communities fall under PAGC.

“We are thankful for this support, which will allow us to undertake a comprehensive feasibility study,” stated Hardlotte. “Our goal is to ensure that our public safety strategies are effective and truly reflective of the unique values of Prince Albert Grand Council’s member First Nations.”

In this year’s recently announced federal budget, the government proposed to invest $267.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, and $92.5 million per year ongoing, for First Nations and Inuit-led policing, according to the release.

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