MONTREAL- First Nations in northern Quebec are calling on the province and the federal government for more funding for Indigenous police forces.
The call for money comes after the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh Takuhikan First Nation on the issue.
In a judgment rendered Dec. 15, the court agreed that the First Nation was owed $1.6 million from Quebec and Ottawa to cover years of underfunding of its police force.
Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador Chief Ghislain Picard says the court ruling confirms the long-standing position of First Nations communities that the provincial and federal governments for years have underfunded Indigenous police forces.
Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation Chief Gilbert Dominique says the situation is an example of systemic racism toward Indigenous Peoples in Quebec.
The defendants in the case had argued that the services of Quebec’s provincial police force were free for Indigenous communities, but reports showed that the police force was poorly adapted to the specific cultural needs of Indigenous Peoples.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2022.