Canadian First Nations police and Navajo Nation police meet in first-of-its-kind conference

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SHIPROCK, N.M. – The first-of-its-kind conference took place on the Navajo Nation on Wednesday. It was a meeting between Navajo Nation Police and representatives from an Indigenous police force from Canada, the Nishnawbe-Aski.

The Navajo Nation is the largest reservation in the United States, “roughly the size of West Virginia- 27,000 square miles,” said Navajo Nation Chief of Police, Daryl Noon. 

Nearly 2,000 miles away, in northern Ontario, is the largest First Nations territory in Canada.

“We are the largest Indian police service in Canada, and we wanted to reach out to the Navajo,” Chief of Police for Nishnawbe-Aski, Roland Morrison said.

Because despite the distance, there are quite a few similarities.

“We have roughly the same number of officers, and the calls that we face are similar. There are a lot of domestic violence, there is a lot of missing people, and alcohol, and drugs play a big factor in those calls,” Noon added.

Those issues are also prevalent in Canada.

“So, we do have a lot of issues in common regardless of where we are in North America,” Morrison said.

When tackling these issues, putting two minds together is better than one. So, 14 Canadian First Nation Police board members were here to talk about problems, share culture, and to learn from each other.

“We felt like there was a great opportunity here to learn from their success, but also learn about those challenges, and see if we can overcome those challenges before they become too big of a challenge,” Morrison said.

Sometime in the future the Navajo Police will also visit the First Nations Police force in Canada.