Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Brings Forward Justice Issues for Meeting with Minister of Public Safety Office
April 5, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Cathy Merrick and other First Nations leaders from Manitoba met with Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino in Ottawa yesterday to discuss how our governments can work together on common goals of public safety and share solutions from a First Nations perspective.
AMC tabled a proposal for the government of Canada to provide resources for full-time staffing for AMC, as the regional First Nations organization representing 62 First Nations, to coordinate discussions, research, and advocacy on policing and public safety matters.
AMC also requested stronger regulations against selling machetes and bear spray, a critical issue on and off-reserve. The only restriction is age, which results in adults purchasing large quantities and re-selling them to youth and gang members. First Nations are experiencing increased gang activity, significant drug trafficking and addiction crises, and increased abuse of women, children, and Elders. The lack of commitment from both governments to provide treatment, healthcare services, and prevention resources perpetuates these detrimental effects of colonization.
“We need stronger regulations to prevent vendors from selling and advertising these items in plain sight,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “These two weapons are widely used to perpetuate violence in our First Nations and without proper regulations to prevent their misuse for violence.”
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Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.