Saskatchewan First Nation creates its own police force to enforce a war on drugs

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The Poundmaker Cree Nation has declared a state of emergency: calling it a war on drugs. By creating their own police force, the Nation will be enforcing custom laws of banishment for anyone involved in drug abuse and trafficking.

Chief Duane Antoine states, "We are taking a unified approach and zero tolerance policy to fight drug abuse and trafficking by kicking out band members and nonband members through a Band Council Resolution (BCR) in order to protect our community, especially our children and Elders who are suffering from this exposure to the drug scene within the Nation.”

The Nation, located west of the Battlefords in Saskatchewan, said they have attempted to work with the local RCMP to enforce their BCRs, however, the RCMP have no authority to do so. Therefore, Poundmaker Nation is taking their own measures to enforce banishment.

"The RCMP have a duty to protect our people and they are not doing their job, so we need to take matters into our own hands to fight the drug problem, We have to hold the Federal Government accountable since these BCR's have no weight for enforcement, and if anyone is liable here, then it would be the Federal Government. The government needs to listen and work with us, and we will do whatever it takes to have our own police force," says Chief Antoine.

The Poundmaker Nation is going to be hosting Chiefs from other Nations to discuss illegal drug activity on March 30, 2021. The goal of this meeting will be to convince other nations to also declare a state of emergency in the war on drugs.

Jacob Cardinalp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News