Yukon First Nation declares state of emergency over opioids 'terrorizing' community

MAYO, YUKON — A small Yukon First Nation says it's dealing with an "opioid emergency" that is terrorizing its citizens and families with violence, crime, overdoses and death.

The Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation in Mayo, 400 kilometres north of Whitehorse, has declared a state of emergency and called for a meeting with officials in the Yukon government, the RCMP and the Village of Mayo to develop an action plan to protect its members.

The First Nation says in the emergency declaration that the action plan could include increased law enforcement within its territory, limiting when non-citizens can be on settlement land, check stops, or the eviction of tenants in First Nations housing who are engaged in illegal activities.

It says the plan could also include "action to warn and protect people who use drugs," and the availability of treatment opportunities for its citizens.

The declaration comes days after a double homicide of two Whitehorse men whose bodies were found on a main roadway belonging to the First Nation.

Yukon RCMP said in a statement Monday about the deaths that police were "aware of the impact of the substance use emergency on the community of Mayo," and were actively supporting community safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press