Day: September 6, 2017

‘Drug crisis’ forces 7 Manitoba First Nations to declare state of emergency

The seven First Nations that make up the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council have declared a state of emergency due to a drug crisis that is driving an increasing crime rate. Chiefs from the Birdtail Sioux, Dakota Tipi, Long Plain, Roseau River Anishinabe, Sandy Bay Ojibwaym Swan Lake, and Waywayseecappo First Nations made the declaration to raise awareness about the rise in drug abuse among their communities, including the use of opioids, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. The First Nations’ chiefs said the crisis has led to high crime rates, health issues, and an increase in suicides — the latter also an issue on Northern Ontario’s Wapekeka First this year, prompting the community to declare its own state of emergency in June. Though drug abuse has been an ongoing issue for years, Dakota Ojibway community leaders said it’s only getting worse. Today, it impacts children and newborns. "In the last year in my community, 60 per cent of our children born were put on morphine after birth because of the addictions of the mothers," Ken Chalmers, chairperson of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, told CTV Winnipeg. Although the chiefs said they’ll be working to combat the crisis through a new strategy of education, prevention, and enforcement, they’re calling for government action at the provincial and federal levels to help in creating an addiction treatment facility. "We need a treatment centre in...

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Five Vancouver Sun/Province reporters named finalists for 2017 Jack Webster Awards

Reporter Lori Culbert. Reporter Dan Fumano. Reporter Matt Robinson. Five Vancouver Sun/Province reporters have been named finalists for the prestigious 2017 Jack Webster Awards. Crime reporter Kim Bolan is nominated in the breaking news category for a series of stories she wrote on the murder of prominent Hells Angel Bob Green. Bolan revealed Green’s business connections, his standing in the biker gang and was also able to link the Green murder to the shooting of a Hells Angels prospect in Burnaby and the slaying of a young man, whose dismembered body was dumped on the side of the road....

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Manitoba First Nations chief describes harrowing escape from forest fire

Open this photo in gallery: Manitoba MLA Judy Klassen provided this image showing a large forest fire burning near Wasagamack First Nation in northern Manitoba, on Aug. 29, 2017. The leader of a northern Manitoba First Nation says an evacuation to escape a forest fire was a harrowing experience made harder by the lack of proper infrastructure and a quick way out. "Before we knew it, we had this huge fire column that was hanging over the entire community," Wasagamack Chief Alex McDougall said of the evening last week when the fire that had been in the distance suddenly...

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‘It’s been emotional’: Evacuees get taste of home in Brandon with bannock, soup

The Brandon Friendship Centre served bannock and soup to northern Manitoba forest fire evacuees on Wednesday. (Riley Laychuk/CBC) It’s been more than a week since the the first people forced from their homes in Manitoba’s Island Lake area arrived in Brandon. Some are still feeling lost, while others are starting to settle in their temporary homes. The Brandon Friendship Centre, abuzz with smiles and laughter on Wednesday, tried to give people a taste of home as it hosted the first of two lunches for evacuees. Along with bannock and homemade soup, about a dozen tables were set up with...

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‘We’re just tired of waiting’: Northern Sask. meeting aims to combat rash of suicides

A group of community organizers have planned a two-day meeting in Buffalo Narrows, Sask., to talk about suicide in northern Saskatchewan. ( Holly Toulejour says she’s tired of waiting. A social worker at Dene High School in La Loche, Sask., Toulejour says communities across northern Saskatchewan have been reporting a rash of suicides over the past year. While government support has been pledged, she says it hasn’t worked. "We’re just tired of waiting for someone else to come in and do something," she told CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning . "It doesn’t feel like there’s any political will or action...

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