The leadership of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation is declaring a state of emergency in response to the escalating drug problem in their community.
The First Nation is concerned about the increased violence and how it affects the safety of their people, they said in a media release issued Saturday by FSIN. Many residents are living in fear and are reluctant to cooperate with the RCMP because they fear retaliation. These calls for action come after seven people overdosed on drugs in one day.
“We must do something, and this is our first step; our leadership is taking urgent measures to address the drug problem in the community,” said Chief Lux Benson.
“We have issued a warning to evict the residents of houses where drug activity is suspected. We will disconnect utilities and board up the doors and windows. The drug problem in our community is a serious and complex issue that requires a coordinated and effective response from various stakeholders.”
Benson said one of the key partners we need in this effort is the RCMP who have the mandate and the expertise to enforce the law and disrupt the supply of illicit substances.
“We urge the RCMP to step up and help us address this challenge by increasing their presence, resources, and collaboration,” said Benson.
Red Pheasant First Nations say most overdoses could be attributed to addictions and mental health issues.
They are also calling on the federal health minister and the provincial government to sit down and discuss how they can deliver a healthcare strategy to their First Nations that will work.
“We call on all our leaders to act now and save lives. Red Pheasant believes these actions are necessary to protect the Treaty and the inherent rights of First Nations people and to ensure their health, well-being, and dignity.”
Red Pheasant Cree Nation is a Plains Cree First Nations located about 33 kilometres south of North Battleford.