Reforming Indigenous policing: Understanding the context for change
Keywords:Rural policing, police reform, police funding, Indigenous policing
Protests over the policing of Black and Indigenous people and people of Colour that started after the death of George Floyd in May 2020 at the hands of the Minneapolis police set the stage for debates about the role of the Canadian police in ensuring public safety. These protests have resulted in calls for police reforms, including reallocating police funding to other social spending. The public’s attention has focused on urban policing, and there has been comparatively little focus on policing rural Indigenous communities. We address this gap in the literature, arguing that Indigenous policing is distinctively different than what happens in urban areas and the challenges posed in these places are unlike the ones municipal officers confront. We identify ten specific challenges that define the context for Indigenous policing that must be considered before reforms are undertaken. Implications for further research and policy development are identified, including founding a commission to oversee First Nations policing.
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