Man banished from Onion Lake arrested there

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A man banished from Onion Lake Cree Nation was arrested there on Dec. 8, 2020.

RCMP arrested Terrance Stonechild, 32, on Onion Lake Dec. 8, 2020, and charged him with weapons and drug-related offences.

Onion Lake Cree Nation band council “banished” 32 people from its community in 2020 as they continue to fight illegal drug and gang activity.

The banished individuals have “contravened and violated peace and good order in the territory of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, and thereby are banished,” Okimaw (Chief) Henry Lewis posted on OLCN’s website Sept. 3, 2020.

Names and photos of the banned individuals were posted on OLCN’s website.

Lewis said the band council was exercising its authority and jurisdiction under convention law and land law. The OLCN band council asked people to call Onion Lake RCMP if they saw any of the banned individuals in the community.

OLCN declared a state of emergency Jan. 22, 2020, after gang-related violence and drug activity. They drove out suspected gang members and boarded up about 15 suspected meth houses.

Stonechild pleaded not guilty to the drug and weapons charges and elected to be tried by provincial court judge alone. A trial has been set in Lloydminster Provincial Court in June.

OLCN has three townships spanning 188,000 acres and is on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster, Sask.

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News-Optimist

Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist