Jukasa News Update – Monday, March 22, 2021
The community of Pikangikum have expelled provincial police from its borders over unspecified allegations of misconduct.
Chief Dean Owen says the police force lost the community’s trust due to alleged misconduct involving officers that “occurred over many years.”
OPP say 10 officers have returned to their home communities, and the force has contacted the province’s police watchdog.
Pikangikum Police and First Nations Peacekeepers will be responsible for community safety.
The Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate to probe incidents involving police where there has been serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.
A watchdog’s report into how Mounties handled the high-profile shooting death of a young Indigenous man in Saskatchewan has found officers discriminated against his mother.
The finding is detailed in a report by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, which reviewed the investigation into the death of Colten Boushie.
The commission found the way officers treated Boushie’s mother when they notified her of his death amounted to discrimination based on race.
The report detailed how one officer questioned Debbie Baptiste about whether she had been drinking, while someone also told her to “get it together.”
It says one officer also checked a microwave where Baptiste told them she had placed her son’s dinner.
The watchdog said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki accepted the finding that police discriminated against Boushie’s mother.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank is launching a program to offer low-interest and long-term financing for Indigenous infrastructure projects.
The bank says the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative will offer loans of at least $5 million for up to 80 per cent of the capital cost associated with green infrastructure, clean power, broadband internet, transportation and trade projects.
The loans are meant to create economic growth in Indigenous communities, enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gases and give more people access to reliable internet and safe drinking water.
The program comes after the federal government urged the bank to allocate at least $1 billion for Indigenous infrastructure projects in February.
First Nations communities alone face an infrastructure deficit totalling as much as $30 billion, said a 2016 report from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.
There is no evidence that Canada’s history of colonialism has made Indigenous people any more hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 than the general population, says an Indigenous studies professor casting a critical eye on the oft-repeated theory.
The federal government is among those who have suggested colonialism and systemic racism have fostered mistrust in vaccines. But Veldon Coburn, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Indigenous Research and Studies, says available data on vaccine hesitancy suggest that is not the case.
Coburn says there’s no evidence of a causal link between vaccine hesitancy and the historical and intergenerational trauma Indigenous people live with because of residential schools and other colonialist practices.
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