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Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service

Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service
Agency overview
Operational structure
Headquarters309 Court Street South
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Elected officer responsible
  • The Honourable Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Agency executive
Official website

The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (NAPS), also occasionally known as the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (without a hyphen) is the police agency for Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN). As of July 2020, NAPS has 34 detachments in NAN communities across the territory covered by Treaty 9 and Treaty 5 within Ontario.[2][3] Roland Morrison was sworn in as chief of police in 2019.[1]

As of July 2020, the agency has 203 officers, about 60% of whom are Indigenous, making NAPS the largest Indigenous police force in Canada, and the second-largest in North America.[2] NAPS is responsible for a jurisdiction that includes two-thirds of Ontario, a land area approximately the size of France.[4] NAPS receives 48% of its funding from the government of Ontario, and 52% from the government of Canada.[5][2]


The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service was formed on January 14, 1994 through a tri-partite agreement between the governments of Canada, Ontario, and the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. The primary goal of the agreement was the establishment of an aboriginal agency to provide efficient, effective and culturally appropriate policing to the Nishnawbe-Aski communities.

The first phase of the agreement began on April 1, 1994 and lasted four years, when all First Nation constable positions were transferred from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to NAPS. Phase two began on January 1, 1998 when Wahgoshig, Matachewan, Mattagami, Brunswick House, Chapleau Ojibwe, Chapleau Cree, Constance Lake and Aroland First Nations were transferred.

The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service gained responsibility for the OPP's Northwest Patrol Unit on June 1, 1998, excluding the communities of Big Trout Lake, Weagamow, Muskrat Dam, and Pikangikum. An Operations Transition Committee was formed to oversee the transfer of administrative and operations matter between NAPS and the OPP. The transition was complete on April 1, 1999.[4]


Many NAPS detachments fail to meet national building codes and many officers live in crowded conditions or lack residences in the communities in which they serve. On February 25, 2008 Chief Jonathan Soloman of Kashechewan First Nation gave the Government of Ontario 30 days to start relieving the situation or he would pull his community out of the NAPS policing agreement.[6] On March 26, 2008, Chief Soloman extended the deadline after receiving indication that the Canadian and Ontario governments were interested in resolving policing issues in NAPS-served communities.[7] A new policing agreement was reached in 2009.

As of February 2008, only one of the thirty-five detachments met building codes (that in the Moose Cree First Nation).[8] A fire at the Kashechewan First Nation detachment on January 9, 2006 killed two persons held in the lockup and severely injured an officer during a rescue attempt.[9]

The Kasabonika First Nation detachment was closed in early February 2008 as it lacked running water and relied on a wood fire in a 170-litre drum to heat the facility. Holding cells lacked toilet facilities, requiring detainees to use a slop bucket. Prisoners had to be flown to Sioux Lookout, costing as much as $10,000 per trip.[10] As of February 2013, the Kasabonika detachment was operational, although it had only one on-duty officer.[2]

As of February 2008, NAPS had an annual budget of $23,000,000,[11] and the estimated cost to replace or renovate aging detachments was approximately $34,000,000.[10] A new funding agreement was reached in 2018, allowing the hiring of 79 new officers over a five-year period, along with upgrades to key infrastructure and communications systems. However, the police force remains poorly funded, with a 2020 operations budget of around $37,700,000 and expenses approaching $40,000,000.[2]

A Sacred Calling

A Sacred Calling is an 18-minute documentary which focuses on the difficulties of policing remote NAN communities in Northern Ontario which are compounded by insufficient funding. The documentary was made by National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations RoseAnne Archibald, who hopes the film will get attention from the federal and provincial governments to help rectify the situation.[12] The film shows officers living in motels, and using wood blocks to hold inmates in their cells.[8]


Detachments are located in 34 communities.[13] NAPS headquarters is located at 309 Court Street South, Thunder Bay. It has regional offices in Cochrane, Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay.[14]


The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service is governed by a board consisting of a representative of each Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Tribal Council. An independent review board ensures accountability to the communities.[15] NAPS is not subject to the Ontario Police Services Act, though as a result of the 2018 funding agreement, there is pending Ontario legislation to allow NAPS to opt in to the Police Services Act, which would mandate accountability standards and oversight.[16][2]

Former Chiefs

Name Start of Term End of Term Notes References
Roland Morrison September 2019 Current Member of Chapleau Cree First Nation. First chief of police to have risen through the ranks from front-line officer. Served as acting chief of police since his predecessor's retirement in September 2018, named as chief by the Board of Directors effective April 9, 2019. [1][17]
Terry Armstrong September 3, 2013 September 2018 [16]
Robert Herman January 23, 2013 September 3, 2013 Served as acting chief of police for NAPS, formerly worked as Thunder Bay Police Service Police Chief. [18]
Claude Chum January 1, 2011 January 23, 2013 Member of the Moose Cree First Nation. On January 23, 2013, Chum announced in a letter to the Board of Directors he was taking an "indefinite personal leave of absence." [19][20]
Robin Jones November 11, 2009 January 1, 2010 Served as acting chief of police. First female chief of police. [21][22]
John C. Domm July 2008 November 11, 2009 Member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. Served as acting chief of police from July 2008, named as chief of police before February 20, 2009. [23][24][25]
Paul Russell Trivett January 2006 July 2008 Died August 27, 2008. [26][27]
Wesley Luloff 1994 2005 Became staff sergeant of NAPS in 1994, after serving with the RCMP for 23 years. Longest-serving chief of police, as of July 2020. [28][25][29]




  • Constable
    • Detective Constable
  • Sergeant
    • Detective Sergeant
    • Road Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant
  • Administrative Sergeant
  • Regional Inspector / Regional Commander
  • Deputy Chief
  • Chief of Police

Special Units

  • Guns and Gangs Unit
  • Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy
  • Sexual Assault Classification Unit
  • Drug Unit


  1. ^ a b c Diaczuk, Doug (April 9, 2019). "NAPS welcomes new police chief". Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Perkel, Colin (July 12, 2020). "Canada's Biggest Indigenous Police Force Has Zero Shooting Deaths In 26 Years". Huffington Post. Canadian Press. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Angus, Charlie (February 20, 2013). "NAPs Officers face serious challenges". NetNewsLedger. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service History. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  5. ^ "Kashechewan to stay with NAPS, negotiations positive", CNW Group (April 17, 2008) Retrieved April 19, 2008.
  6. ^ "Aboriginal territory can't go on with medieval police detachments: chiefs[permanent dead link], The Canadian Press (February 25, 2008) Retrieved February 26, 2008.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Kashechewan extends deadline as NAPS heads back to negotiating table", CNW Group (March 26, 2008) Retrieved March 26, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Burkowski, Peter. "NAN seeks help for 'policing crisis'", The Chronicle-Journal (February 4, 2008) Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  9. ^ "Ontario Regional Chief challenges federal and provincial governments to respond to the First Nation policing funding crisis", CNW Group (February 4, 2008) Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  10. ^ a b Puxley, Chinta. "Reserve closes 'dangerous' police station", The Toronto Star (Retrieved February 4, 2008) Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  11. ^ "Acute NAPS housing shortage may rob north of police services[permanent dead link]", TBSource (February 12, 2008) Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  12. ^ "Documentary draws attention to NAPS underfunding[permanent dead link]", TBSource (January 16, 2008) Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  13. ^ "Detachments". Nishnawbe Aski Police Service. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  14. ^ Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Contact Information. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  15. ^ Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Police Services Board. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Nishnawbe-Aski police chief retires with 'no regrets' after over 30 years in policing". CBC News. August 22, 2018. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  17. ^ "NAPS ANNOUNCES CHIEF OF POLICE ROLAND MORRISON". Wawatay News. April 9, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  18. ^ "Terry Armstrong New NAPS Police Chief". NetNewsLedger. August 15, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  19. ^ "Nishnawbe-Aski Police Announces New Chief of Police" (Press release). Thunder Bay, Ont. December 14, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "NAPS chief of police on leave". Wawatay News. Vol. 40, no. 5. February 7, 2013. p. 13. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  21. ^ "Police Service Board Welcomes New Chief of Police". NationTalk. November 20, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  22. ^ Lundmark, Jodi (February 4, 2011). "New NAPS chief says he wants build relationship with communities". Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Nishnawbe-Aski Police Officer Promotions". NationTalk. February 25, 2009. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  24. ^ "New NAPS Chief of Police" (Press release). February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Annual Report 2005/2006 (PDF) (Report). Nishnawbe Aski Nation. 2006. p. 53. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 8, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "The Paul R. Trivett Bursary Program" (Press release). 2015. Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2020. When Chief Paul Trivett became Chief of Police of Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service in January of 2006, he helped to further realign a police service that had many challenges organizationally, geographically and financially.
  27. ^ "Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Loses Leader" (Press release). NationTalk. August 29, 2008. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  28. ^ Shimo, Alexandra (2016). Invisible North: The Search for Answers on a Troubled Reserve. Dundurn. ISBN 978-1459722941.
  29. ^ Luloff, Wes. "Wes Luloff O.O.M. - Chief Executive Officer - Retired". LinkedIn. Retrieved July 14, 2020.[permanent dead link]
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Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service
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