Red Earth declares itself a dry reserve
- EFN Staff | October 03, 2015
Community members of Red Earth Cree Nation held an awareness walk on Saturday, October 3, 2015 to spread the word of a new law declaring Red Earth IR#29 and Carrot River IR#29A Reserved Lands as a drug-free and a dry reserve.
Members voiced their concerns at a General Assembly held September 21, 2015 at the Mamawe Community Hall and called for the ban in a collective effort to address, recover from and move on with healing arising from recent tragedies of drug and alcohol-related deaths on their reserve. The community has lost 24 band members from suicides, homicides, highway accidents and drownings related to drugs and alcohol in the past.
“They said they don't want the law tomorrow because they’ve lost too many. They want it now,” explained Charlene Head, Councillor for Economic Development and Justice. “The youth told us, ‘Yes, we’re in trouble and we need to do something else, other than what we’re doing now.’”
“Our membership-in-assembly have declared our homelands to be henceforth drug-free and have dry reserve status as part of larger strategy,” said Chief Ian McKay of Red Earth Cree Nation. “It is an assertion of our people and of our government and of our nationhood, sovereignty, powers and jurisdiction to enact laws for the long-term betterment of our community -- it is part of our common objective of peace, order and good government.”
“Our people are saying, let's begin to move beyond these social challenges. Let's begin to move on with more focus and investment in economic development and job creation,” he added. “Our people have committed to make meaningful change not just for the betterment of our community and membership of the present but for the future as well.”