Slightly fewer Indigenous employees in Regina Police Service in 2017

Indigenous people accounted for 8.7 per cent of the Regina Police Service's total workforce in 2017, down from 9.5 per cent in 2016.

8.7% of all employees were Indigenous, while 10.3% of officers were Indigenous

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said the decline in 2017 was due to retirements, a new job and the way employees self-identified. (Trent Peppler/CBC)

In 2017 there were fewer Indigenous members of the workforce for the Regina Police Service, according to the latest report from the board of police commissioners. 

Indigenous people accounted for 8.7 per cent of the total workforce that year, down from 9.5 per cent in 2016. That's also down from 9.7 per cent in 2015.

Police Chief Evan Bray said the decline was due to two people retiring, one person leaving the RPS for another job and two employees changing their self-declaration in a survey.

"If you identify as Métis, if you identify as a certain culture ... we ask you to capture that," Bray said.

The RPS has a long-term goal of having Indigenous employees represent 14 per cent of the total workforce, in accordance with an agreement it made with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Indigenous people made up only three per cent of the workforce when that agreement was made back in 1992. 

Indigenous employees accounted for 10.3 per cent of all officers, or 42 members in total, last year.

"We're always looking at that goal .. but we're also cognizant of what that diversity number looks like in the city and how close we are to that mark as well."

In 2016, the provincial government axed its Saskatchewan Police Aboriginal Recruiting Committee. In response, the RPS created an Aboriginal Recruitment Liaison Officer.

That became a permanent position in 2017, with the aim of recruiting officers and civilian employees as well as building community relationships.

There were 610 people employed by the Regina Police Service in 2017, 406 of whom were officers. Fifty-three were Indigenous, 57 were people with disabilities and 50 others were visible minorities.

The number of people with disabilities in the workforce was 3.9 per cent higher, but the RPS numbers indicate that increase was due to more employees requiring accommodation and that the number fluctuates based on needs.