A new expert panel report from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) finds that many Indigenous communities do not receive policing services that meet their safety and security needs, and the evidence suggests a relationship-based, community driven approach provides an opportunity to make meaningful and sustainable improvements.
Policing in Indigenous communities presents challenges that are distinct from those in non-Indigenous communities. These challenges are embedded within a set of cultural, social, historical, legal, political, and geographic considerations. Toward Peace, Harmony, and Well-Being: Policing in Indigenous Communities underscores that policing reforms should be viewed as one element of systemic changes needed to improve the safety and well-being of Indigenous communities. The Panel found that the most promising approaches involve building relationships among police, other service providers, and community members. Effective relationship-based approaches are community-led, preserve core community values, and provide opportunities for police to assist in mobilizing communities and to earn their trust.
The report also identifies principles that could be used to guide how policing can be governed, funded, and practiced in Indigenous communities. These principles arose from the evidence reviewed, and are rooted in holistic views of community safety and well-being that already exist in Indigenous communities.
The report aims to provide Indigenous community leaders, policy-makers, and service providers with the foundation to build effective and appropriate models for the future of policing in Indigenous communities.
“It has been an honour to chair this Panel and I give thanks for the opportunity to have exchanged ideas and knowledge with my colleagues. It is our hope that this report will contribute to the ongoing discussions about how we move forward with the role of policing in Indigenous communities in Canada.”
-Kimberly R. Murray, Chair, Expert Panel on Policing in Indigenous Communities
“This report comes at a significant point in the evolving relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The report specifically examines the present and future role of police services in Indigenous communities in Canada and what promising and leading practices being used might be adopted on a broader scale.”
-Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies
Director of Communications, Council of Canadian Academies