As you know, Jaime, throughout the pre-inquiry what we heard from families was that “it's a justice system, just not for us”, and I think that is really what they feel—that it's not a safe place even to report a missing person. As I've said, some of the families chose not to correct a missing persons report that said the person was Caucasian because they thought the quality of the search or the investigation would be less important if indeed she was viewed to be an indigenous woman, whereas we know what happened in the Downtown Eastside. Somehow, when somebody went missing, it was viewed as inevitable and filled with judgment.
We have a lot to do, because it's not just the policing or the investigation. It's what happens in terms of the charges that are laid, the plea bargaining and the sentencing. Indigenous people do not feel that it is fair, and thus we see all the unacceptable incarceration rates, where often the victim is blamed. That's the way they feel they've been treated.
I think we're working with our partners in the provinces and territories. We had a very positive call yesterday with National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Regional Chiefs Teegee and Picard on moving forward. Minister Blair, Minister Lametti, Minister Miller and I were on a call about a commitment to first nations policing and moving forward on the tripartite agreement that could be almost ready to go in British Columbia in terms of how you change policing to be more community based, and with community members, as we've heard about with the excellent approach in Yukon, with the peace officers there who are reducing the calls to the RCMP by 30%.
I think that having the right to and the statutory funding for first nations policing.... It will be interesting to see whether the Mi'kmaq Nation is also interested in that, following up on the excellent progress that you have had on education and whether we could move that to first nations policing in Nova Scotia as well.