Indigenous women's complaints of police mistreatment must be addressed, AMC says
Motion calls on assembly to revisit its memorandum of understanding with RCMP and include Winnipeg police
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says it has received "numerous emails and phone calls" from Indigenous women complaining about how they have been treated by police.
The assembly, which advocates for First Nations in the province, passed a motion Tuesday to have Grand Chief Derek Nepinak meet with RCMP, the Winnipeg Police Service, the Winnipeg Police Board and Indigenous groups to discuss complaints "from women who reported violence including domestic violence situations."
The motion, which was approved by the assembly's executive council of chiefs, also calls on the AMC to revisit an existing memorandum of understanding it has with the RCMP and include Winnipeg police in those talks.
"Previously AMC and the RCMP had a memorandum of understanding to establish a process to enhance relations and to facilitate an improved police service delivery to all First Nation citizens in Manitoba. I believe it is time that we renew the MOU between the RCMP but also include the WPS," Nepinak said in a news release Wednesday.
"We need to provide an outlet for people to bring their concerns of mistreatment forward to build confidence and accountability of police services."
The motion also recommends developing a process for bringing concerns and issues to all of Manitoba's police authorities, as well as creating information brochures and workshops to help the public know their rights.
"We need to step up and do something. We have heard too many times on reserve and in urban centres that the police treat First Nations differently," Swan Lake Chief Francine Meeches, who chairs the assembly's First Nations women committee, stated in the release.
"As leaders in our communities, and with many members who live in the city, we need to help protect them and ensure that the Winnipeg Police Service and RCMP are accountable.