MONTREAL -- Indigenous police forces will be able to count on a financial boost from the Quebec government to improve their training and practices, in particular to better manage situations of violence against women.

In total, Quebec is allocating $18 million to finance a set of measures intended to better adapt police intervention to the realities of Indigenous communities, in particular when it comes to women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

The announcement was made Friday afternoon at a news conference by the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, accompanied by the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, and the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest.

Also present was the president of the First Nations Chiefs of Police Association, Shawn Dulude.

The money will be used in particular to finance projects -- $1.2 million will be aimed at combating the sexual exploitation of Indigenous women and girls and countering all forms of sexual violence.

In the same spirit, there will be a focus on improving the training of Indigenous police officers ($4 million), so they are better equipped when they must intervene in situations of domestic violence or sexual assault.

There will be a focus on the training and development of Indigenous police officers ($3.8 million), by giving them access to the services offered by the Quebec's police school. 

Quebec also wants to provide Indigenous police forces with liaison officers responsible for helping them better manage cases of sexual assault and to better inform victims of their rights in the event of legal recourse.

In addition, training on the reality Indigenous people experience in Quebec will be designed and offered to correctional service officers, so that they have a better understanding of them. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.