Condolences to the family, loved ones, and community of Long Plain – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2022
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) offers condolences to the family of a 42 year old Long Plain First Nation man who is being laid to rest today, after he died in the custody of the Long Plain detachment of the Manitoba First Nation Police Services.
“First and foremost, I want to extend my condolences to the family and loves ones of Jeremy Peters, and to my home community of Long Plain,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “There must be accountability and transparency in the investigation, and we support Chief Kyra Wilson in her call for a Community Liaison to monitor the work of the Independent Investigations Unit.”
SCO has been consistently advocating for Justice reform in every area as First Nation citizens are at a greater risk of experiencing racism and death when they enter the criminal justice system. Since 2017, Indigenous people have been ten times more likely to be killed by a police officer in Canada. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released 231 Calls for Justice in June 2019, including a call for police institutions to establish an Independent civilian oversight body.
In April 2021, Canada announced Indigenous policing as a priority of Budget 2021 and committed to allocate approximately $800 million over five years to support First Nation communities served under the First Nation Inuit Policing Program (FNIPP), as well as to allow for program expansion into First Nation communities. First Nations in Manitoba have not had equitable access to FNIPP funding. Manitoba currently receives approximately eight per cent of the total annual FNIPP funding despite having approximately 19 per cent of on-reserve First Nation people in Canada.
Bill 7, The Police Services Amendment Act (Enhancing Independent Investigation Unit Operations), was introduced into the Manitoba Legislative Assembly last November and received Royal Assent last month. Major reforms include a Director of Indigenous and Community Relations, a Community Liaison Program, as well as defining the critical role of the Community Liaison.
While there is a mandated focus on building relationships with Indigenous communities, cultural training, acknowledging concerns about police conduct, and the IIU unit, in addition to other positive steps towards accountability the Community Liaison program will also assist First Nation communities that have suffered the death of community member at the hands of police.
“Police services have a responsibility to serve the citizens in the community and ensure those who have been arrested are provided adequate care and attention while in custody,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “First Nation people should not fear for their lives when they are arrested and taken into custody.”
SCO’s Mobile Crisis Response Team will be supporting the Long Plain First Nation community as they mourn this loss.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 81,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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