SASKATOON – The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Executive is calling upon the federal government and the RCMP to take immediate and drastic action following a rash of avoidable and preventable tragedies experienced by First Nations in the recent months.
In a release issued Tuesday afternoon, FSIN pointed out there have been several tragic losses of First Nations people connected to drug and alcohol abuse, addictions, mental health, and the lack of proactive care and attention on behalf of those with the authority and capacity to address these issues.
“Lives were lost due to the lack of strategic planning and action on behalf of the Government and the RCMP. All of these deaths were connected to drug and alcohol abuse and with proper action, they could have been prevented” says FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “It’s frustrating for leadership to learn that the RCMP were notified by James Smith Cree Nation community members about the risks posed by this weekend’s assailant and about drug dealers in the community months ago, and they did not investigate. Many of our communities’ leaders have also implemented Band Council Resolutions (BCR’s) to banish drug dealers from their communities, but the RCMP refuses to enforce them. Our people work with the RCMP, but the RCMP refuses to work with us. RCMP inaction is a problem across the province. We’ve gotten calls from Beardy’s, Ochapowace, Flying Dust, and George Gordon First Nations – what will it take to get the RCMP to take our concerns seriously and protect our family members. These victims lost their lives, this tragedy and many others are impacting our people and our communities, this all occurred on your watch. We demand action now; drug dealers and destructive activity that harm our First Nations are not welcome in our communities.”
According to the release, the FSIN is also calling for collaborative, strategic planning from all community policing partners.
“The current policing model does not deliver any long term, strategic plans that can be measured, they just respond to clean up the aftermath of violent and tragic events; this is not community policing. This is not reconciliation.”stated the release. “The Federal Government and the RCMP also have legal responsibilities stemming from Truth and Reconciliation and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls reports, in addition to their lawful responsibilities as public servants."
This past weekend saw the death of 26-year-old Brandon Cameron from Beardy’s and Okemasis’ Cree Nation.
A 37-year-old male and a 28-year-old female from James Smith Cree Nation were also confirmed deceased as a result of an incident that led to a manhunt and emergency alert in the area.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of the Treaties, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.