Released on March 8, 2023
The Government of Saskatchewan is continuing its support of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations’ (FSIN) Special Investigation Unit (SIU) with an operating grant this year of $88,000.
“For the past 20 years, the partnership between the Government of Saskatchewan and the FSIN has provided a culturally-sensitive means of submitting public complaints about law enforcement," Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said. "This collaboration has ensured that complaints are taken seriously and investigated impartially."
The SIU receives and follows up on public complaints by Indigenous citizens regarding allegations of police misconduct and forwards them to the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC). The Unit also provides complainants with support as they move through the process.
“The FSIN’s Special Investigations Unit is a tremendous asset for our First Nations as it provides a compassionate, culturally-sensitive service to First Nations people and allows access to due process when our people feel aggrieved by justice system actors,” FSIN Second Vice Chief Edward Dutch Lerat said. “The unit was derived from the inquiry into the death of Neil Stonechild, where we saw a commitment from the Saskatchewan Government to support our efforts to address systemic racism experienced by our people.”
The SIU was created in 2001, and the relationship between the Government of Saskatchewan and the SIU was formalized in 2005 when the Unit was added to The Police Act, 1990. Since its inception, the Unit has received approximately $1.4 million in funding from the Public Complaints Commission.
The Government of Saskatchewan also introduced the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), which became operational on January 1, 2023, to ensure continued public confidence in Saskatchewan’s police services.
For more information about PCC and the CRCC, please visit Public Complaints Commission | Your Rights and the Law | Government of Saskatchewan or Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
For more information, contact:Ariane Whiting
Justice and Attorney General