The First Nations 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 aims to help foster a healthy relationship with the First Nations communities of the province, recognizing their unique cultural, historical and constitutional status in Canadian society.
The SIU is dedicated to the program and three investigators have been designated as First Nations Liaisons, two of whom are of First Nations heritage. Whenever possible, a First Nations Liaison leads or participates in investigations involving or having an impact upon First Nations people or communities. The Liaison may also be the principal contact with the First Nations community during the course of an investigation. The Liaison also provides advice about investigative considerations and the significance of evidence to the supervisor or Director.
While the SIU does not have jurisdiction over First Nations police, the Unit has been proactive in developing a protocol for incidents where investigations overlap. 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 regional or municipal police service where a member of a First Nations community is seriously injured, dies, or alleges sexual assault.
The SIU has put in place an operations policy which sets out the Unit’s particular response with respect to cases involving First Nations persons and communities. In addition, the SIU is committed to ongoing dialogue with First Nations to develop protocols that will govern SIU access to First Nations’ territories and other aspects of the SIU investigative process in incidents involving First Nations people or communities.
For more information on the FNLP or to make a request for an Outreach event please contact the Outreach Coordinator.