Indigenous group worried about conservation officers getting patrol carbines
SASKATOON — An Indigenous group is worried about the Saskatchewan government’s plan to arm some conservation officers with the same type of rifle that is used by the military and some police forces.
Media reports say the province is seeking a bid for 147 semi-automatic patrol carbines.
The officers are to be armed with the weapons due to their expanded role to help fight rural crime.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says this decision could lead to people being killed.
Vice-chief Heather Bear says the government made the decision without consulting Indigenous leaders.
The federation represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.
“The idea of conservation officers carrying assault rifles is truly disturbing and unnecessary,” Bear said in a release.
“There are conservation officers in the province who need to be educated about our ... treaty rights. As such, there are legitimate concerns from First Nations that arming conservation officers with such weapons could potentially be disastrous.”
(The Canadian Press, CKOM)
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