When he began his career with the Saskatoon Police in 1987, Ernie Louttit was only the city’s third native police officer. “Indian Ernie”, as he came to be known on the streets, details an era of challenge, prejudice, and also tremendous change in urban policing which included the Stonechild Inquiry. Drawing from his childhood, army career, and service as a veteran patrol officer, Louttit shares stories of criminals and victims, the night shift, avoiding politics, but most of all, the realities of the marginalized and disenfranchised. Though Louttit’s story is characterized by conflict, danger, and violence, he argues that empathy and love for the community you serve are the greatest tools in any officer’s hands, especially when policing society’s less fortunate.
Ernie Louttit was born in 1961 in a remote northern Ontario community. A member of the Missanabie Cree Band raised off reserve, he attended a one-room school until grade 8 then boarded out in another town for high school. He quit school in grade 11 to work for the Canadian National Railway. At 17, he joined the Canadian Forces, serving with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and military police.
In 1987, he was hired by the Saskatoon Police as only the third native officer in the force's history. He has spent his entire 26 year career on the streets of Saskatoon’s west side, an area until recently beset by poverty and terrible social conditions. Louttit served during the most tumultuous years of the Saskatoon Police Service, always in the front lines as he learned to navigate the difficult issues of crime, race, and community expectations – both white and native. He became known on the streets as “Indian Ernie,” to him a badge of honour. He officially retired as a Sergeant as of October 29, 2013. He continues to reside in Saskatoon and is married with four grown children. This is Ernie's first book.