Lack of consultation on RCMP changes in

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Lack of consultation on RCMP changes in Natuashish disappointing: Evans
Evans says she was disappointed to learn that proposed changes to the RCMP detachment in Natuashish are taking place without consultation with the Innu.
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

(July 20, 2021) – Lela Evans, PC Opposition Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Labrador Affairs and MHA for Torngat Mountains, says she was disappointed to learn that proposed changes to the RCMP detachment in Natuashish are taking place without consultation with the Innu.

Evans said these changes were only made public when the MP for Labrador stated in the media changes are coming to policing in Natuashish. According to the comments, the RCMP are moving to a rotational model, recruiting officers to work in Natuashish who would be based out of Deer Lake.

Evans says that she met with the Chief of Natuashish on Thursday and he told her that he and his Innu Band Council have not been consulted on these changes.

“The police have a duty to consult with the people on the ground before making major staffing decisions. The Natuashish Band Council and Innu Nation were both taken by surprise by the proposal, which seems to be happening behind closed doors at the RCMP,” said Evans.

“The relationship between the police and Indigenous populations is fragile in Labrador – and across the country. In order for policing to improve in Natuashish the Innu must have input. For these changes to advance to the point of recruitment ads being posted without Innu consultation is alarming.”

Changes to RCMP staffing is happening in multiple parts of the province, including in Grand Bank, where a local detachment is set to close.

Evans has reached out the Minister of Justice to share her concerns and she is hopeful that Innu will be brought in to the decision making process before it is too late.

“No matter where you are in the province, policing has a major affect on your life and your community. The Innu have a right to be heard. Consultation doesn’t mean informing after a decision is made. It means sitting down and finding solutions together,” said Evans.

“Anything less means Indigenous voices are not being taken seriously in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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