Blue Line

First Nations police: A growing trend?

December 18, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Dec. 18, 2023, Tsuut’ina First Nation, Alta. – The Tsuut’ina (soo-TIH’-nuh) police service near Calgary is part of a growing trend.

The First Nation’s police force uses a community-policing model to try to meet the needs of those who live there.

Nationwide, there are close to 40 First Nations forces.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised his government will bring forward a new First Nations policing law.


Calls for legislative change were renewed after 11 people were killed and 17 were injured on the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan last year.

Doug King, a justice studies professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, says there has always been a troubled relationship between Indigenous communities and the RCMP. Officers had a role in taking Indigenous children from their homes and to residential schools.

King says a First Nations force allows a community to tailor the kind of service they need.

Tsuut’ina Police Chief Keith Blake says the service responds to crime, but it’s equally important for officers attend community events, mentor youth and talk with elders.

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