First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program
The Honourable George Adams, the author of two reviews of the SIU, recognized the unique status of First Nations and identified the need for the SIU to address the particular interests of these communities. The First Nations Liaison Program (FNLP) was established in January 2006 following consultations with the Provincial Territorial Organizations (PTOs) – the bodies representing First Nations in the province. The program has evolved significantly and in November 2015, the Unit updated the program to offer greater coverage and reporting. The program was also expanded to include Inuit and Métis persons and is now called the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Liaison Program (FNIMLP).
The objective of the FNIMLP is to develop cultural competence in the Unit’s approach to incidents involving First Nations persons or communities. While the SIU does not have jurisdiction over First Nations police, the Unit has in place a protocol for incidents that may involve Indigenous communities in one way or another. For instance:
- A case that takes place on First Nations land involving both a First Nations police service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the latter over which the SIU has jurisdiction to investigate.
- A case off-reserve involving a law enforcement service where a member of a First Nations community is seriously injured, dies, or alleges sexual assault.
Whenever possible, a member of the program leads or participates in investigations involving or having an impact upon Indigenous peoples or communities to ensure that investigations are conducted with respect and sensitivity.
Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019, the SIU Director may enter into agreements with a First Nations Police Service in Ontario for the purpose of conducting or assisting with investigations.