First Nations Policing
The First Nations Policing Policy 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 policy provides First Nations communities the opportunity to participate with provincial and federal governments in the development of dedicated policing services within their communities. The policy is designed to give First Nations communities greater control over the delivery and management of policing services. For more information on the federal First Nations Policing Policy contact Public Safety Canada.
In B.C. the participation of First Nations communities in their own policing activities is further enhanced by the New Relationship Policy. This policy encourages reconciliation between First Nations and the province.
Both policies support an enhanced level of policing in First Nations communities, this 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
On April 1, 2006, the current Framework Agreement for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and First Nations Community Policing Service (FNCPS) was signed.
As outlined in this Framework Agreement for First Nations policing, three parties negotiate 'Community Tripartite Agreement'. The Community Tripartite Agreement (CTA) is an agreement entered into between Canada, the Province and a First Nation Community, or a group of First Nation Communities, 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 – see Policing Agreements and Funding page on this website.
In 2011 the First Nations Community Policing Service had an authorized strength of 108.5 officers to provide enhanced policing services to 130 First Nation communities in B.C. through 53 Community Tripartite Agreements.
A Community Tripartite Agreement Steering Committee was established to support the sharing of information and building of relationships between the CTAs. The steering committee encourages new directions in leadership to strengthen the delivery of First Nation Policing in B.C. The committee is made up of representatives from:
- First Nations communities with Community Tripartite Agreements
- the Commanding Officers Aboriginal Advisory Committee
- the RCMP
- the Province of British Columbia and Public Safety, Canada.
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 Fist 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 may consist of requests for First Nations communities to complete Schedule “D” of their CTA or site visits. More extensive reviews are undertaken periodically.