First Nations Policing
The First Nations Policing Program was introduced by the federal government in June 1991 to provide First Nations across Canada with access to police services that are professional, effective, culturally appropriate and accountable to the communities they serve. This program provides First Nations communities the opportunity to participate with provincial and federal governments in the development of dedicated policing services within their communities. The program is designed to give First Nations communities greater control over the delivery and management of policing services. Further information on the federal First Nations Policing Program is available on the Public Safety Canada website.
In B.C. the participation of First Nations communities in their own policing activities is further enhanced by the New Relationship with First Nations. This relationship encourages reconciliation between First Nations and the province.
Both initiatives support an enhanced level of policing in First Nations communities, which means additional resources are provided than what is normally provided by the Provincial Police Service Agreement. Police officers providing an enhanced service spend one hundred per cent of their time to policing needs of the First Nations communities.
The map on the right shows B.C. First Nations Communities with enhanced policing.
More information on First Nations Policing in B.C. is provided below, if you have a question, see Contact Us page for contact information.
Structure of Police Services in First Nation Communities
First Nation Community Policing Service
Effective April 1, 2014, Canada and the Province of BC signed a revised Framework Agreement for the use of the RCMP First Nations Community Policing Services (FNCPS) in British Columbia.
As outlined in this Framework Agreement for First Nations policing, Canada, the Province and a First Nation Community, or a group of First Nation Communities enter into a 'Community Tripartite Agreement' (CTA) for the provision of a RCMP First Nations Community Policing Service. The Community Tripartite Agreement is different from the Provincial Police Service Agreement. For more information on the Provincial Police Service Agreement, please see the Policing Agreements and Funding page.
In 2014 the First Nations Community Policing Service had an authorized strength of 108.5 officers to provide enhanced policing services to approximately130 First Nation communities in B.C. through 55 Community Tripartite Agreements.
In 2007, a policing agreement was signed between the Province, the District of West Vancouver, Squamish and the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations to create a RCMP and West Vancouver Police Department integrated First Nations policing unit. This policing arrangement covers reserve lands located in North Vancouver, West Vancouver and the Squamish Valley.
In this same year, a policing agreement was signed between the Canada, the Province, the Corporation of Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation to deliver enhanced policing to Tsawwassen First Nation by the Delta Police Department.
First Nations Administered Police Services
There is currently one First Nations Administered Policing Service in British Columbia: Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police. This police service is modeled on the structure of an independent municipal police department, with governance provided by a police board whose members are selected from the communities served. Police officers recruited by the police boards are either experienced officers or graduates from the Police Academy of the Justice Institute of B.C. All officers are appointed under the Police Act. In 2010, the Stl'at'imx Tribal Police had an authorized strength of ten police officers.
First Nations Policing Conferences
First Nation communities with an enhanced policing agreement are invited to participate in conferences that provide training to strengthen governance and delivery capacity, share information about lessons learned, address relevant policy and program issues, and encourage and support collaborative relationships between all parties. These conferences are held about every 18 months. The following conference reports have been produced:
First Nation Policing Program Monitoring and Reviews
First Nation policing programs are monitored regularly per the agreements to ensure that FNCs are receiving policing services that are culturally sensitive and responsive to the particular needs of the First Nations Community (FNC) and enhance the level of policing provided under the Provincial Police Service Agreement.
Activities that are monitored include whether FNCs are actively involved in developing objectives, priorities and goals of the police service, the police service is culturally sensitive and responsive to the community’s needs, the police service is effective and accountable to the communities served, and the relationship between the communities and the police. Program monitoring includes site visits and the First Nation community completing an annual report using the form provided by Canada. More extensive reviews are undertaken periodically.