This photo is from near Tatuk Lake, where Saik’uz has reserve land. It is one of ten locations where anyone found to be a seller or promoter of illegal drugs will be banned from. (Photo courtesy Sasha Striegler Iannone)

This photo is from near Tatuk Lake, where Saik’uz has reserve land. It is one of ten locations where anyone found to be a seller or promoter of illegal drugs will be banned from. (Photo courtesy Sasha Striegler Iannone)

Saik’uz First Nation bans drug dealers

Dealers and supporters will be prohibited from 10 on-reserve locations

Drug dealers are not welcome within the community of a B.C. First Nation near Vanderhoof.

Saik’uz First Nation issued a stern warning on Nov. 5 to any community member supporting illegal drug activity from their on-reserve home and said any evidence of such involvement will result in them being banned from ten different locations.

“This behavior will not be tolerated any longer and as a community, we choose to stand in a unified front against dealers,” the notice read.

More than 450 people live within the Dakelh community that is not alone in facing such problems and the resulting consequences substance abuse brings.

Fed up, Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations on Vancouver Island near Port Hardy issued an immediate ban on drug dealers and bootleggers in early 2018.

This year the First Nations Health Authority confirmed a more than ever toxic drug supply that has fueled a surge in overdose deaths amongst Indigenous peoples in B.C.

While COVID-19 public health measures such as physical distancing and staying at home have resulted in unintended consequences for substance users but also those trying to offer assistance and support, Saik’uz First Nation said many are working to ensure their community is the healthiest, happiest and safest it can be.

“Saik’uz Chief and Council will continue to work collaboratively with elders, youth, RCMP and neighboring bands to address action against these individuals [dealers].”

Read More: Isolation, drug toxicity lead to spike in First Nations overdose deaths amid pandemic: FNHA


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