Saturday , 23 October 2021

Onion Lake declares state of emergency after rash of drug and gang offences

Onion Lake Cree Nation has declared a state of emergency after a rash of drug and gang related activity.

OLCN called on help from the Saskatchewan government and federal government to step in to help with the issue on Friday.

“This problem has been steadily increasing over the last year and it is now to the point that we are having three very serious and scary incidents in one day,” said Chief Okimaw Henry Lewis in a press release.

“Everyone is stretched to their limits. We need the government to come to our tables and create a gang strategy and find solutions that will work for our nation.

“We need to increase our policing resources, bring in external gang units or whatever is necessary to help our community members stay safe.”

Three incidents within a 24 hour span on Jan. 21 – a high speed chase through Onion Lake, the body of a missing manfound dead by a search and rescue team, and a stolen vehicle with gang-affialiated graffiti losing control and colliding with  the hockey arena – helped prompt the decision.

The press release said three deaths in the past two months are related to drugs and gang activity.

They called on the friendship and mutual assistance involved with Treaty 6 to continue working together with the RCMP and the Crown.

Onion Lake has roughly 4,000 living on the reserve 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.