Provincial police expelled from northwestern Ontario First Nation

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Provincial police expelled from northwestern Ontario First Nation

PIKANGIKUM, Ont. — A northwestern Ontario First Nation has expelled provincial police from its borders over unspecified allegations of misconduct.

Chief Dean Owen of Pikangikum First Nation says the police force lost the community's trust due to alleged misconduct involving officers that "occurred over many years."

A spokesman for the Ontario Provincial Police says 10 officers have returned to their home communities, and the force has contacted the province's police watchdog.

Bill Dickson says that in the meantime, Pikangikum Police and First Nations Peacekeepers will be responsible for community safety.

He says the Special Investigations Unit has invoked its mandate to probe incidents involving police where there has been serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.

A spokeswoman for the SIU did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Owen could not immediately be reached for comment, and the CEO of the Independent First Nation Alliance says he can't comment on the nature of the allegations against police.

Mathew Hoppe says the allegations are sensitive and confidential.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press