Mounties failed to properly investigate First Nation trespass complaint: RCMP

SASKATOON — Saskatchewan RCMP say Mounties failed to properly investigate complaints involving trespassing on First Nations land.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says a farmer who had been evicted from Ochapowace First Nation lands over failure to pay rent was spotted on reserve last week.

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The FSIN says when staff approached the evicted tenant, the farmer had an exposed gun within reach in the vehicle.

The First Nation says RCMP were called but Mounties did not immediately respond to the community about 170 kilometres east of Regina.

Ochapowace Chief Margret Bear says people were concerned for their safety.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron says the RCMP should have responded to the call.

"The staff reported seeing the gun, which was within reach in the farmer's truck, and did the right thing by calling the RCMP rather than risk becoming involved in a dangerous situation," he said Tuesday in a release.

"RCMP should have attended the scene immediately. This situation could have escalated and ended in tragedy."

RCMP said it is working to speak to all Mounties who were involved and thanked the FSIN for raising its concerns.

"Our initial review of the incident indicates that not all of our investigational steps were followed," RCMP said in an email.

"As a result of our review, we will be providing guidance to all our officers in an effort to prevent this from happening in the future. We have advised the FSIN of the results of our preliminary review and the steps we will be taking to reduce the likelihood of this happening again."

The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

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