The government takes action to provide Indigenous police services in Winneway
QUÉBEC CITY, Oct. 7, 2021 – The Québec government has announced the creation of a rapid response team with responsibility for a project to provide Indigenous police services in the community of Winneway. Until the project is implemented, the team will develop temporary measures to enable Indigenous police forces to help provide services alongside the Sûreté du Québec. The new delivery of police services in the community of Winneway will involve cooperation between the Kebaowek, Timiskaming First Nation and Sûreté du Québec police forces.
The team, under the leadership of Michel Martin and Jean Cotten, will also be responsible for identifying a solution for the community’s land base, making a pilot project for a regional police force possible. Once it is implemented, the pilot project will enable shared patrols by the Indigenous police forces.
In this way, the Québec government will fulfill its commitment to improving public security in the community of Winneway. The model developed as part of this mission could also provide inspiration for other Indigenous communities in Québec.
The Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, and the Chief of the Long Point First Nation, Steeve Mathias, are confident in their ability to provide this essential service for the population of the communities concerned over the coming months.
“I had an excellent discussion with Chief Steeve Mathias recently and I am pleased to announce that the population of Winneway and the surrounding area will soon have access to police services that are adapted to their specific situation. I am confident that this joint process involving the Sûreté du Québec and the First Nations will generate positive results. The provision of regional services is not a solution just for Winneway, but one that I hope will inspire other communities.”
Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs
“The project will provide a way to respond to the concerns of the Winneway population by establishing Indigenous police services adapted to their priorities. I firmly believe that the best way to ensure public security in our communities is to rely more on new cooperative models. I would like to emphasize the open-minded approach of the Council of Long Point First Nation, the Indigenous communities of Kebaowek and Timiskaming and the Sûreté du Québec, which are all key partners in the implementation of this innovative solution.”
Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Premier, Minister of Public Security and Minister Responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region
“The creation of the new team is a positive action that, I hope, will quickly have an impact on security within my community. I am pleased with the outcome of our discussions with the Minister. This is a step in the right direction.”
Steeve Mathias, Chief, Band Council of the community of Long Point First Nation Winneway