The province of Alberta and Siksika Nation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to work together to improve public safety in the First Nation. Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro sealed the deal with a handshake with Chief Ouray Crowfoot of Siksika Nation.

They will also be working on a framework for the re-establishment of a Siksika Nation police force.

The nation had its own police force from 1992 to 2002. The Gleichen RCMP detachment has been providing police services to Siksika Nation since 2002.

“It is critical we have our own force back on the Nation. Our own force will reduce response time from police, which could save lives in those critical minutes or seconds in life-threatening situations. From a cost perspective, it would also be more efficient, as our own force would provide more preventative measures and not simply reactive measures to the community. The future is extremely bright for Siksika, and we are excited to continue to work with the Alberta and federal governments to develop the best outcome for all involved,” Chief Crowfoot said.

“The Siksika Nation has identified establishing a police service as a priority for making its communities safer, and Alberta’s government believes in working with communities to help them address important public safety needs. We’re looking forward to productive discussions that will help the Siksika Nation realize its goal of building a safer community for its members,” Shandro said

Siksika Nation has explored the possibility of establishing a new police service in recent years. In 2018, it hired an outside firm to conduct a feasibility study. The provincial government contributed $30,000 toward the study, a third of the cost.

Since then, the Siksika Nation has done additional research on establishing a self-administered police service, including a recent business case. However, the Sikiska Nation can’t proceed under the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program because the federal government has frozen the program while it conducts a review.