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OPP needs to consult more with First Nations, chief says

CBC News

The Ontario Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations is not pleased with a recent report from provincial police.

The report outlines a policy that officers can use when they respond to critical incidents with First Nations — a policy that was developed after recommendations from the Ipperwash Inquiry.

That inquiry probed a fatal police shooting of an unarmed protester, Dudley George, in 1995.

Provincial police have been using the policy for the past five years and they say the emphasis is now on peacekeeping and open communication.

But Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy says the report is flawed.

Beardy, who represents 133 First Nations in Ontario, said the OPP did not respond to 18 recommendations that the Chiefs of Ontario put forward.

“A few years after the Chiefs of Ontario made 18 recommendations to OPP on how to deal with critical incidences as part of Ipperwash, and only one of those recommendations, I think, was recognized, or acknowledged,” Beardy said.

“Unfortunately there was no communication with First Nations people. There was no involvement and definitely I'm very disappointed.”

One of the Chiefs' recommendations was for the OPP Commissioner's office to create a direct dialogue with Chiefs of Ontario.

OPP staff sergeant Gary Maracle said he's not sure what recommendations Beardy is referring to. He said he can't respond to the recommendations because he hasn't seen any.

Police have been busy working with individual communities, Maracle said.

“I can tell you that, if there was a lack of consultation, or a perception of a lack of consultation, it's certainly not a good thing.”

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