FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arrangement made between Siksika Nation and the Town of Strathmore to provide transportation to Nation members released from custody during inclement weather
Siksika Nation (April 14, 2021) – A new program was created by the Siksika Nation Chief & Council, the Town of Strathmore and the Strathmore Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P) that will “ensure safe transportation of Siksika Nations persons being released from R.C.M.P. custody during inclement weather or in a situation where the releasedperson’s safety is of concern as solely determined by the R.C.M.P. at the time of release.” as outlined in a Letter of Understanding signed April 7, 2021.
The safety of Siksika Nation members is a major concern for Siksika Nation leadership who advocated for this service because they recognized a need for this type of service for some of its Nation members who do not have access to transportation and are often forced to walk the 75 km trek to Siksika in extremely cold temperatures often leaving them stranded and in vulnerable situations.
“In a time of M.M.I.W.M. (Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Men), it is important that our people are not left vulnerable to such traumatic activity.” Explains Siksika Nation Councillor and R.M.C.P. Liaison Rueben Breaker who has been working closely on this initiative with the Town of Strathmore and the Strathmore R.C.M.P.
This unique agreement will guarantee members of Siksika Nation the option to have a safe way back to the Nation in severe weather conditions to the Siksika Shelter. It should be noted that Siksika Nation members are not obligated to use the service and its completely voluntary. “We want to make sure our members are not stranded and have a safe way home.” Added Breaker.
Both parties agree to fund the program that will provide Siksika Nation members transportation from Strathmore R.C.M.P. to the Siksika Shelter on the Siksika Nation at no cost to the Nation member. Each party with contribute $1,000 per year for a 1-year term ($2,000 total per year) which will automatically renew unless revised by mutual agreement of the participants. The program will undergo a review and an assessment of the operation and effectiveness of this arrangement will be made annually.