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Anishinabek Police Chief Jeff Skye is flanked by MP Carol Hughes, UCCM Police Chief James Killeen, Treaty Three Police Chief Kai Liu, MP Lori Idlout and Julian Falconer during a press conference in Ottawa Monday June 12, 2023

3 Indigenous police services on brink of closure

By Adam Riley Jun 12, 2023 | 6:38 PM

By the end of this month 30 thousand residents on 45 First Nations in Ontario will be without police services, and leadership with those services are hitting the alarm bells.

At a media conference in Ottawa Monday Treaty Three Police Chief Kai Liu explained how dire the the situation is for his organization.

“June 5th the Treaty Three Police Service issued our last pay cheques to our members based on the funds we have in our bank. Right now we have no funds left so we are living on a line of credit.”

On March 31st funding for the service from the federal government ended and talks on funding equity ended.

In addition to Treaty Three Police, the Anishinabek Police Service and the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Anishnaabe Police are also affected by the funding shortfall.

He notes the systemic under funding of the Treaty Three Police Service has led to the agency being chronically understaffed, and many of the 23 communities they serve lacking 911 service.

“If someone did get a hold of the police, it would take us at times one to three hours to respond, because there just is not enough officers to travel the 55 thousand square miles that we police.”

They want to know what will happen once the line of credit and the small surpluses the two other police services have dry up and they shut down.

What is Canada’s plan for the safety and security of our communities? – Treaty Three Police Chief Kai Liu

Liu is also the President of the Indigenous Police Chiefs of Ontario, an organization which has launched a motion that will be heard in federal court this week on an emergency injunctive relief.

IPCO is being represented by lawyer Julian Falconer who notes in addition to the under funding, restrictions and limitations are placed on Indigenous police services which prevents them from operating domestic violence, homicide or emergency response units.

“These same communities, these same police services, are prohibited from haivng legal representation assist them with their funding agreements either to interpret them or negotiate. They’re prohibited from owning property or to finance property.

This is a sad, very sad leftover colonialism and racism in its worst way and public safety hasn’t fixed it. – Julian Falconer

Jeff Skye is the Chief of the Anishinabek Police Service and has spent three decades in Indigenous policing, he expressed his discouragement by the under funding of Indigenous police services.

“It’s upsetting when again colonialism at its best is here again, and what happened to listening to our people. There is no listening, its a one track mindset of us being told what to do again.”

He calls the terms and conditions being imposed upon Indigenous Police Services as “racist” and the three services will refuse to concede to those terms.



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