June 19th, 2024

‘Chronic underfunding’: 22 Quebec Indigenous police forces file rights complaint

By The Canadian Press on October 31, 2023.

Akwesasne Mohawk Police Chief Shawn Dulude responds to reporters at a news conference in Quebec City, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Quebec's 22 Indigenous police forces have filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission accusing the Public Safety Department of chronically underfunding of First Nations police forces.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Simon Clark

MONTREAL – Quebec’s 22 Indigenous police forces have filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission accusing the Public Safety Department of chronic underfunding.

Shawn Dulude, president of the Quebec Association of First Nation and Inuit Police Directors, says federal funding for Indigenous police has set forces up to fail.

Dulude, who is also chief of the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service, says funding levels prevent Indigenous police from providing basic services on par with other forces across the country.

He says the alleged underfunding of Indigenous police extends beyond the communities they serve and affects national security.

Benoît Amyot, a lawyer representing the First Nations police, says they hope the case will be accepted by the commission and referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which hears discrimination cases and can dole out financial compensation.

Public Safety Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023.

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