Kahnawake's Mohawk Council proposes temporary Indigenous police force in Wet'suwet'en territory
MONTREAL -- The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake is floating a solution to the tense situation between the RCMP and Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs in BC.
Mohawk Council Grand Chief Joe Norton suggested his community's police force - the Kahnawake Peacekeepers - head up a temporary Indigenous force to patrol the Wet'suwet'en territory until calm is restored.
"The key demand is for the RCMP to leave, but there is a need for policing services to offer assistance in everyday matters," said Norton. "We feel this can lead to an immediate de-escalation of the current crisis."
Kahnawake Peacekeeper Chief Dwayne Zacharie has agreed to contact fellow Indigenous police chiefs to put the force together.
Zacharie is president of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association, a national body representing Indigenous policing services.
The Peacekeepers were used in January 2004 to take over policing in Kanesatake, a Mohawk community about 45 minutes north of Montreal.
The hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en are scheduled to meet Friday for a second day with senior federal and provincial ministers as they try to break an impasse that has sparked national protests and led to disruptions in the economy.
With files from The Canadian Press.