In a statement released Saturday evening, the Saskatchewan RCMP said they commit to implementing recommendations laid out in a report by a civilian watchdog examining the force’s handling of the Colten Boushie death investigation.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission’s (CRCC) final report was scheduled to be released on Monday morning. Several media outlets, including Global News, were provided with copies of the family and CRCC chairperson initiated reports on Saturday.
The CRCC’s chairperson-initiated report found that the RCMP member’s notifying Boushie’s mother of her son’s death acted in a discriminatory manner.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said in February 2018 the RCMP asked for the CRCC to conduct an independent review of the RCMP members’ actions as they investigated Boushie’s death.
“The findings and recommendations made by the CRCC are important as they contribute to the enhancement of public confidence in the RCMP. We believe thorough, independent review of our actions plays a valuable role in ensuring our accountability and transparency,” Lucki said. “The RCMP remains committed to ensuring the service we provide meets the expectations of the Indigenous communities and people we serve.”
The Saskatchewan RCMP senior management team has committed to fully implementing all of the recommendations.
The report made a total of 17 recommendations, including that the RCMP should provide cultural awareness to all RCMP employees.
The RCMP has already made progress on the recommendations, implementing 16 out of 17 of the recommendations. The force said all Saskatchewan RCMP employees are on track to complete a cultural awareness and humility course by April.
The RCMP added that they have also made changes to how they write media releases, including consultation with the Saskatchewan RCMP Indigenous Policing Services unit for all serious incidents involving Indigenous people.
In their statement, the RCMP said that they acknowledge systemic racism exists within the force.
“We are committed to listening and respecting the lived experiences of others and continuing to learn from these conversations. This acknowledgement and commitment to Canadians, along with the steps we have taken to address the CRCC’s recommendations, are important parts of the ongoing process of reconciliation. We are unwavering in our commitment to reconciliation and reviewing the impact of our policies and procedures on the people we serve to ensure the service we provide meets the needs of Indigenous communities.”