History of police presence in Nunavik
In 1936 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) first set foot in Port Harrison, known today as Inukjuak. The Eastern Arctic Patrol ship patrolled the shores performing rescue missions. Shortly after 1936, the RCMP occupied all the communities of Nunavik.
In 1961, the Surete du Quebec (SQ) replaced the RCMP following a decision made by the provincial government to assume complete jurisdiction of its territory. The SQ established its first police station in Kuujjuaraapik, also known as Great Whale, and six months later in Kuujjuaq (formerly known as Fort-Chimo). Before 1961, the SQ only went to Nunavik to reinforce the RCMP in major crime matters.
In 1975, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA) was signed, which provoked significant changes in policing in Nunavik. An agreement was made between the SQ and the first nations to implement an aboriginal police program. The Cree nation first initiated the program in 1978, followed by the Naskapis and Inuit in 1980. Inuit who completed the aboriginal police program became SQ special constables. Each special constable was supervised by a regular member.
Creation of the Kativik Regional Police Force
In July 1995, the Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) was created. The transition from the Sureté du Québec's Aboriginal police division to that of the KRPF on the Nunavik territory was completed in April 1996, at which time the KRPF acquired full autonomy. After April 1996, the Sureté du Québec assumed its usual provincial role as an intervener in major crimes.
Becoming the Nunavik Police Service
In 2021, the Kativik Regional Police Force was renamed and became the Nunavik Police Service (NPS). The name change reflects the new policing vision and increased desire for greater community collaboration with the 14 villages in the region.
The Kativik Regional Government Council adopted the new name on February 24, 2021. The new name marks the police service’s 25th anniversary.
The old name did not reflect the modern vision of the police service. The new name embraces the identity of the territory it covers. Excluding the “Force” from the name eliminates any reference to aggressive or repressive actions often associated with police interventions. The new name also underlines the commitment to Nunavimmiut to serve and protect the residents and their land by offering an unparalleled community policing service. The NPS will pursue its mandate to maintain peace, order and public security, prevent and repress crime, ensure the safety of the residents of Nunavik and safeguard their rights and freedoms through close cooperation with the community in a way that respects the Inuit culture and way of life.