Indian Ernie
192 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Oct 2013
Release Date:31 Jan 2019

Indian Ernie

Perspectives on Policing and Leadership by Ernie Louttit

UBC Press, Purich Publishing

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. 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.

Louttit spent his entire career (including as a Sergeant) patrolling the streets of Saskatoon’s west side, an area until recently beset by poverty, and terrible social conditions. Here, he struggled to bring justice to communities where the lines between criminal and victim often blurred. 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.

While his story is based on his experiences in Saskatoon, it is equally applicable to the challenges faced in any community where marginalized people live. It is an exciting, passionate, easy to read, and highly accessible story aimed at a broad audience.


  • 2015, Short-listed - Saskatoon Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
  • 2015, Short-listed - The Aboriginal Peoples’ Publishing Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
  • 2015, Short-listed - Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
  • 2015, Short-listed - Book of the Year Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
  • 2015, Short-listed - First Book Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards

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.

1. Shoot or Don’t Shoot
2. Do You Know Your Dad’s an Indian?
3. Rough Start—Mine
4. Rougher Starts—Theirs
5. A Sense of Belonging
6. No Ammunition Is Ever Surplus
7. Leadership, Ego, and Arrogance
8. Cheap and Destructive Highs
9. One Strong Woman
10. Semper vigilans—Assume Nothing
11. Sticking My Nose In
12. To Tell the Truth
13. Murders and Major Crimes
14. Dangerous Pursuits
15. Training Ground
16. Young Man Frozen
17. Late Nights on the Streets
18. “We Know”—Who Knew?
19. Thinking on Your Feet
20. Cold Saves
21. A Family’s Shame
22. The Truest of Warrior Spirits
23. 24/7—The Regular Stuff

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