April 23, 2019 8:44 pm
Updated: April 23, 2019 8:47 pm

Mounties failed to properly investigate trespass complaints on First Nation: Sask. RCMP

The FSIN said a farmer who had been evicted from Ochapowace First Nation lands over failure to pay rent was spotted on reserve last week.

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Saskatchewan RCMP say Mounties failed to properly investigate complaints involving trespassing on First Nations land.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) said a farmer who had been evicted from Ochapowace First Nation lands over failure to pay rent was spotted on reserve last week.

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The FSIN said when staff approached the evicted tenant, the farmer had an exposed gun within reach in the vehicle.

The First Nation said RCMP were called but Mounties did not immediately respond to the community about 170 kilometres east of Regina.

Ochapowace Chief Margret Bear said people were concerned for their safety.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said the RCMP should have responded to the call.

“The staff reported seeing the gun, which was within reach in the farmer’s truck, and did the right thing by calling the RCMP rather than risk becoming involved in a dangerous situation,” he said Tuesday in a release.

“RCMP should have attended the scene immediately. This situation could have escalated and ended in tragedy.”

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RCMP said it is working to speak to all Mounties who were involved and thanked the FSIN for raising its concerns.

“Our initial review of the incident indicates that not all of our investigational steps were followed,” RCMP said in an email.

“As a result of our review, we will be providing guidance to all our officers in an effort to prevent this from happening in the future. We have advised the FSIN of the results of our preliminary review and the steps we will be taking to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.”

The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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