Today, Monday, June 19, 2017, New York based Human Rights Watch released a report which was advertised as an examination of the treatment of Indigenous women in Saskatchewan by police services within this province. The Regina Police Service was one of three municipal police services contacted by Human Rights Watch in August of 2016, along with the RCMP “F” Division, the Public Complaints Commission and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.
The Regina Police Service was asked by Human Rights Watch to provide responses to 37 questions on RPS policies, practices, training, recruiting and accountability, as well as responses to ten additional requests for data. The Regina Police Service provided a 28-page document to Human Rights Watch in November, 2016 and also met with representatives from the group. It does not appear that this information, provided more than six months ago, was included in the final report of Human Rights Watch. The full response of the Regina Police Service can be found here, or embedded below. Acting Chief Dean Rae will be available for media interviews at 11:30 a.m. at Regina Police Service Headquarters.
The Regina Police Service acknowledges the devastating effects of the residential schools and the difficult history of colonial settlement of this province. The Regina Police Service does not dispute the lived-experience anecdotes of Indigenous women, provided in the Human Rights Watch report; however, we do not accept that these stories can be generalized to represent the current environment and interactions between police services and all Indigenous women and girls in this province. Since the final report excludes information about current RPS policies, practices, training recruiting and accountability, we do not believe it provides a complete, objective picture of police interactions with the community.