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Who pays for First Nations policing, and who benefits? Saskatchewan’s struggles point to problems with funding models – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on March 24, 202336 Views

March 24, 2023

After last year’s stabbings at James Smith Cree Nation, reserves are rethinking how to keep themselves safe – and how to navigate a maze of jurisdictions that Ottawa plans to redesign

The first 911 call, after the attacks began at James Smith Cree Nation, was made at 5:40 a.m. It was early September last year, and a man with a long criminal record was going from home to home on the small reserve in Northern Saskatchewan armed with knives, killing as he went.

The community, like the vast majority of First Nations west of Ontario, is policed by federally managed RCMP officers, who work under contract with the provincial government. The nearest police detachment is in the town of Melfort, roughly a 40-minute drive away. That is almost exactly how long it took officers to arrive.

When they did, they found nine people dead and 18 injured, in one of Canada’s deadliest mass killings. Two more dead would soon be discovered, including the killer’s brother.

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