Hon. Michèle Audette: Minister, I have two questions about working with Indigenous leaders. The bill responds to a Call for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Among the Aboriginal leaders participating in the drafting of the law, are there also groups of Indigenous women living in the communities who could propose initiatives or share important messages, knowing that our communities are in crisis — including my own, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam?
With the growing problems of drug trafficking and violence, police officers are running out of steam. Do you have any immediate solutions?
Hon. Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Public Safety: Thank you for your question. My message is simple. We will continue to work in collaboration with the Indigenous communities. That’s why I went to Akwesasne a few weeks ago to announce a $12.1-million initiative to enhance the capacity of Indigenous police services in Mohawk communities and to strengthen cooperation with other police services in Canada and the United States. This initiative also aims to support local agencies by relying on Indigenous traditions, history, culture and values.
This is a mark of respect for the principle of reconciliation and a way to better protect our Indigenous communities.