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From: Public Safety Canada
July 11, 2023
Advancing Indigenous-led approaches to public safety is central to both maintaining public safety in First Nations communities and advancing reconciliation. That’s why the Government of Canada is taking action with a comprehensive plan that gets guns off our streets and puts more resources into our communities. An important element of this work is stopping violence before it starts, which is why the government launched the $250 million Building Safer Communities Fund (BSCF). First announced in March 2022, the BSCF supports local initiatives that prevent gun and gang violence and help young people make good choices.
The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that the Tsuut’ina Nation will receive up to $1.13 million from the BSCF to prevent crime. This funding will help the Tsuut’ina Nation address the underlying conditions that give rise to criminal activity. It will support community-led projects to prevent violence among young people who are involved in gangs, or at risk of joining them – helping them set themselves up for success in life.
The Tsuut’ina Nation is one of several First Nations communities that are benefitting from funding from the BSCF. The Government of Canada is working with communities across the country to roll out funding as quickly as possible. This funding is one element of broader efforts to improve public safety in Indigenous communities, including working with First Nations partners to co-develop federal legislation recognizing First Nations police services as an essential service, and increasing funding and flexibility for police services under the First Nations and Inuit Policing Program.
No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun crime on its own. The BSCF is one of many elements in the Government’s plan to keep Canadians safe. This begins with strong borders, where we’ve invested nearly a half billion dollars over the past two years and deepened cooperation with the United States to fight gun smuggling. It includes strong legislative and regulatory action. Three years ago, the Government banned over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and last year implemented a freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns. These are central elements of Bill C-21, Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation – which also proposes significant provisions to combat organized crime and address the alarming role of guns in domestic violence.
Finally, it includes strong prevention strategies, like today’s announcement, to stop gun violence before it starts.
“Walking the road of reconciliation means supporting initiatives in First Nations, by First Nations. This funding from the BSCF will help support the great work that’s already happening on the ground, helping people make healthy choices and set themselves up for success in life. I look forward to seeing the difference it will make for young people across the Tsuut’ina Nation.”
– The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“Despite our best efforts, much like other Indigenous communities, we continue to have crime and gun violence in our community. Much of which comes from bad people that come on our land to prey on our people, especially our young people. These additional funds will allow us to take preventative measures to protect our people and reduce crime on our land.”
– Chief Roy Whitney, Tsuut’ina Nation
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Public Safety Canada