RCMP needs structural changes to address racism: MMIWG commissioner

A commissioner who served on the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls says the RCMP exhibits systemic racism and needs oversight through a civilian body that can listen to complaints and be trusted by the people who make them.

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A commissioner who served on the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls says top-down attitudes and the centralized structure of the RCMP are leading to racist practices against Indigenous people in Canada.

Speaking in French to the House of Commons public safety committee Michèle Audette said there is goodwill from some within the RCMP, but the organization exhibits systemic racism that she has been denouncing for a long time.

She said there should be Indigenous oversight of the RCMP through a civilian body that can listen to complaints and be trusted by the people who make them.

Audette said the mistrust between Indigenous communities and the RCMP exists because the RCMP for decades removed Indigenous children from their families and took them to residential schools.

School curriculums should be modernized to teach Indigenous culture and history to dissipate ignorance, she said, adding that young people want to learn the history of Indigenous Peoples.

Audette said police officers who are well-trained and sensitive can protect Indigenous people and save their lives.

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