The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in a complaint of discrimination based on ancestry and race. On December 10, 2014, Regina Police Service officers used force to detain Mr. Simon Ash-Moccasin while investigating a call. Mr. Ash-Moccasin did not match the description of the suspect in that investigation, nor was he engaged in any unlawful activity. Mr. Ash-Moccasin was subsequently released. He filed a complaint alleging that the Regina Police Service discriminated against him in the provision of public services under s. 12 of the Code on the basis of his Indigenous race and ancestry.

“Indigenous people in Saskatchewan are subject to racism in public services, including policing. Police services throughout the province need to take steps to counteract bias and discrimination and improve their relationships with Indigenous people,” said David Arnot, Chief Commissioner of the SHRC.

The Regina Police Service did not admit to breaching of the Code, but did apologize to Mr. Ash-Moccasin for how he was treated. The SHRC supports the Regina Police Service’s commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The mediated settlement agreement ensures that the Regina Police Service will continue to train and educate its personnel to improve inter-cultural competency and prevent discrimination and bias in policing. Mr. Ash-Moccasin also received monetary compensation as part of the mediated settlement.

“Mediation is an effective tool in resolving human rights complaints and achieving reasonable and restorative resolutions that meet the needs of all parties,” said Arnot. “When people are willing to sit down, communicate, and participate in the process, they are better able to move forward and find ways to fairly and efficiently resolve their disputes. Consensus outcomes like this one are the best method to correct problems of the past while improving relationships for the future.”