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Statement by NWT’s MP on policing of Black and Indigenous peoples

Following multiple videos surfacing on Social media showing aggressive action taken by police against Indigenous people these past two weeks, Member of Parliament for the Northwest territories released a statement addressing these acts of violence.

Michael McLeod says, “Across Canada and around the world, people are coming together to stand up and speak out against the systemic racism in the policing of Black and Indigenous peoples. We are passed the point where our police services need to be put under a microscope in these disturbing instances, including the latest stories involving Indigenous peoples and communities in Nunavut, Alberta, New Brunswick, and here in the Northwest Territories.

Like you, I too have many questions on how an RCMP officer who had pled guilty to a sexual offense could have ended up in Fort Good Hope. I have raised these questions with the Minister of Public Safety and hope to get a clear understanding of how this could have possibly occurred.

As importantly, we need to make sure this sort of thing does not happen again and the RCMP must move quickly to rebuild the trust they need to serve our communities. We have a unique population here in the NWT with the highest numbers of residential school survivors in our population who need to be helped and supported. We need the RCMP to send us their best. I have met and worked with many fine officers over my lifetime and can say there are a great number of dedicated and truly decent members of the force. These are the ones we need and welcome into our communities. I have asked repeatedly for an increase in First Nations Policing in Canada and the North. We need more Indigenous police who are best equipped to be culturally responsive.

I am glad that the RCMP inspector traveled to Fort Good Hope to meet with Chief Danny Masuzumi and apologized. However, if the community wants a town hall to discuss this openly then that is what should happen.

The RCMP plays an important role in keeping people safe, but the trust has been shaken. Let’s work on rebuilding it immediately.”

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