RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says the Mounties have enforced racist and discriminatory legislation and policies, and they should do better in the future.
Speaking to Indigenous chiefs at a national forum on First Nations policing, Lucki says RCMP actions have eroded First Nations’ trust, with some incidents leaving generational scars.
She says the national police force is at the beginning of a very long journey to regain the confidence of First Nations, noting that developing a respectful relationship is going to take time.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations says there is a need to work with the RCMP to ensure policing is beneficial for Indigenous people.
He says the RCMP should adopt a zero-tolerance policy for excessive use of force by members, as well as put in place better recruitment processes and proper training on de-escalating confrontations.
Bellegarde also called on the federal government to strengthen civilian oversight for the RCMP and provide the necessary human and financial resources to deal with complaints about the Mounties.