Sagamok-Anishnawbek FN creates task force to focus on drug crisis

Sagamok-Anishnawbek First Nation Chief and Council and the Anishinabek Police Service has created a task force to deal with drug abuse and the addictions crisis on the First Nation.

Chief Gimaa Alan Ozawanimke says the creation of the Task Force will focus on developing and implementing immediately a comprehensive strategy adding the strategy must include policing, housing, economic measures and well as the health and social challenges.

He says council and police will implement a no-tolerance policy on drug importation and trafficking, including monitoring activity and issuing banishments and trespass orders against any people engaging in illegal activity.

He says those policies come into place immediately.

The chief says during the initial discussions, the APS Sagamok officers confirmed the severity of the crisis and the situations they face daily.

“It is not a fight that the police can win alone.”
“There are other actions that must be taken, not the least of which is to provide all assistance and support that individuals and families need to get our people off their drug dependency and on the road to recovery and better quality of life.”

In relation to the policing and enforcement component, the Council and the APS agreed to immediately implement a series of actions to be taken, including actions to be encouraged by the members:

  • Drug importation and drug trafficking in Sagamok will not be tolerated and will be very closely monitored through active policing measures and the cooperation of community members to immediately report activity that may be related to drug importation and trafficking
  • Based on the authority of Sagamok Council to safeguard the well-being of our community members, including personal security and safety and physical and mental wellness, the Council will issue banishments and trespass orders against member and non-member individuals who engage in drug importation and trafficking
  • Outreach to the federal and provincial prosecution services to establish relations and an understanding that Sagamok will always expect that individuals facing charges related to drug trafficking will have to face restrictions against accessing Sagamok as part of bail or interim orders enforceable by the police
  • The existing Trespass and Curfew By-laws will be strictly enforced by the APS
  • The draft Residency By-law will be enacted to establish control over who may reside in Sagamok
  • Establish a Community Mobilization Situation Table to come together to offer a full complement of support services to a member/family dealing with a traumatic event(s)
  • Develop a Mobile Crisis Unit who will work with the Police to actively seek out members dealing with substance misuse disorder

The Chief adds these are some the specific identifiable measures that will be acted on.

“As the Task Force engages in their discussions and consultations with the community, more measures will be identified and acted upon,” he concludes.

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