Recognition of First Nations rights a ‘sticking’ point in new policing law plan: AFN

Myles Sanderson

Police tape marks a scene on the James Smith Cree Nation. Photo: APTN file

A lawyer for the Assembly of First Nations says including the recognition of rights is a “sticking” point as the organization negotiates a new policing bill with Ottawa.

Julie McGregor updated chiefs gathered in Halifax today on work to develop a law that would declare policing on First Nations an essential service.

She told the organization’s general assembly the Department of Public Safety recently said it does not have a mandate to include full recognition of First Nations rights in the proposed legislation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that his government would bring forward a new law in 2020.

Calls for its introduction were amplified last year after 11 people were stabbed and killed on James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon, Sask., where the RCMP was the police service of jurisdiction.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said last year that he hoped to table a bill by the fall, but nothing was introduced before MPs broke for a summer recess in June.

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