APTN National News
Saskatchewan has created a new protection and response team based on a rural crime report released last week which one First Nations chief says is a bad move.
It will consist of 258 members, including 120 police officers and nearly 100 conservation officers, who will have the power to arrest and detain.
The chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says they aren’t wanted.
“None of them are wanted on our First Nations lands, I will tell you that right now,” said Chief Bobby Cameron. “No one wants those conservation officers on our lands unless they’re invited or unless they’re allowed.”
Cameron said the province should be looking at problems within those forces.
“There’s racism in the Conservation department. There’s racism in the RCMP detachment,” he said.
FSIN signed a legal agreement with the province last year stating conservation officers need chief and council permission to go on First Nations lands.
This new team could fly in the face of that deal, he said.
“These officers, they have another thing coming,” said Cameron. “They’re going to be trespassing and you’re going to be prosecuted.”
He said his office is sending notices to the RCMP that if conservation officers enter their lands they’ll be trespassing and prosecuted.
Granting conservation officers more power will only increase the number of Indigenous people in jail, he said.