Banish Drug Dealers from Stoney Nakoda Reserve
Banish Drug Dealers from Stoney Nakoda Reserve
***ATTENTION: IF YOU ARE NOT A STONEY NATION MEMBER WITH A BAND MEMBER NUMBER STARTING WITH 433-Chiniki, 473-Bearspaw, 475-Wesley, PLEASE DO NOT SIGN. THIS PETITION IS FOR STONEY NATION MEMBERS ONLY WHICH INCLUDE MORLEY, EDEN VALLEY AND BIG HORN.*** We appreciate all your support from the non-stoneys who have signed, it means so much to us. But with some of the signatures being from non-stoney nation members, that could nullify the petition when we bring it to our Stoney Tribal Chief and Council. Thank you for your support.
Please Note: All Stoney Nakoda Nation members with band numbers starting with, 433-Chiniki, 473-Bearspaw, 475-Wesley, are eligible to sign the petition. This includes Morley, Bighorn, Eden Valley and off-reserve band members. Put your full name and which reserve you are from. Off reserve members please specify what city or town you live in.
Hello my name is Summer Twoyoungmen, this is my Petition to enforce bylaws to banish drug dealers
· · I want to start by saying that for quite some time now, it seemed that nobody was doing anything about the drug problems we face. Now I hear that suddenly there are others that trying to do something. I know that I am young and people may have an issue with that. But I was right there in the middle of it all, I know what goes on in the drug scene. I wish somebody had addressed the drug problem way back. Then I wouldn’t be doing this, but I am going to continue what I had started and I hope to have all the support I can get.
The drug related deaths are still happening and there is still nothing being done about it. I see so many people are upset that nothing is being done to prevent or stop the excessive drug use and activities in our reserves so that is why I am doing this, because something needs to be done and it needs to done now.
· Banishing drug dealers from our reserve not only saves our people from dying, it saves our young ones, the upcoming generation from growing up in the same drug infested environment that we all did.
· Some may refuse to believe this but the drug dealers are responsible for all the drug related deaths that has happened in our reserves. If we don’t act now there will be even more drug related deaths and the dealers will continue to go about themselves as if they are not responsible for it.
· We need to bring our people back to sobriety before it’s too late. There are kids without mothers and fathers, parents without their daughters and sons. Sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles… they are all lost in the drugs.
· Our reserve used to be one of the most respected and desired places to be. During the powwows we had here there would be dancers and drummers coming from miles and miles away just to be here. Now this reserve has become a place to be feared, to stay away from because it is deemed dangerous.
· I have completely lost count of the number of deaths that have occurred due to the drugs but let us not forget about the family members we have that are locked up because drugs put them in there. Some are doing life, some are going in and out of jail because they are stuck in the vicious drug cycle that continues in the reserve every time they get out.
· There are users that want to change, that want to turn their life around but that is a difficult thing to do when there are drug dealers everywhere and these dealers seek out the users so they can continue to profit off of them.
· I understand that many people have relations to the drug dealers. I do too, but the important thing we need to understand here is that banishing the dealers has nothing to do with us, it has nothing to do with the relationship we have to them. It is about our people, our community, our youth and the future of the generations to come. I think the fact that it is your relation that is dealing drugs should say a lot about how much it has taken over.
· Our chief and council don’t speak on banishing the drug dealers because a good majority of the votes they get come from them. Kicking out and banishing the dealers to them means losing votes.
· I have heard that chief and council are afraid that if they kick out the dealers, that the dealers could sue the nation because it is their right as a member to be here. If you look at the other nations and reserves that have enacted bylaws to banish drug dealers, they all seem pretty successful to me, not to mention most dealers have criminal records. It is their right to be here, yes but it is not their right to be putting the community and lives of our people at risk by dealing drugs. Since the drug dealers can potentially sue the band for being banished from the reserve for dealing drugs, what about the people who were affected severely by the drugs? Wouldn’t they be able to potentially sue the band for not doing anything about the drug dealings in the reserve? After all they are the ones who either lost loved ones to the drugs or had their lives ruined by it.
· I understand that in a lot of families when they can no longer handle a family member that is addicted to drugs, they take it into their own hands and no longer allow that family member to reside inside that home. That wouldn’t be a very common thing for us to have to do if we banished the dealers. Instead of kicking our loved ones out of our home, why not kick the dealers out of the reserve?
· A banishment bylaw is consistent with article 81 of the Indian act, which states that band council can modify and enforce local bylaws. This can be regarding to the purpose of preventing disorderly conduct or nuisances and I’m sure we can all agree on how the drugs is a nuisance to our livelihood and how the drugs can cause our people to appear in a disorderly conduct type of way.
· There are also questions as to what happens to the members who have been banned, that they will only take their drug problems elsewhere. I know that the Indian Act forbids band council to permanently revoke someone’s membership; therefore if the banned member were given a time frame of banishment, they could return after. This could also be a huge opportunity to inform the banned member that during their time away, they should strongly consider getting out of drug dealing. That they could use this time to get themselves together in a way that could benefit them in their future and could also benefit the community in a positive outcome rather than dealing drugs. The bylaw will also include conditions for their return.
· Banishing the drug dealers from our reserve is getting to the root of the problem. Our leaders and many others may not see it like that but I am hoping this petition will open their minds as too how important this really is. It is not the votes that should matter more in this situation; it is the health and preservation of the community that should matter above all else. Taking care of the community and the people should be a priority, even if that means removing members that are causing harm to our people.
· I believe that pursuing this banishment bylaw is a step closer to rebuilding the healthy foundation our communities once had. A step closer to reviving the heart of our people who are lost. It is also a way of honoring our passed loved ones who lost the battle to addiction.
· Banishment equals deterrent. I do think that there is a good chance that the dealers may want to stop dealing when they hear that they could be banished for dealing drugs. If they want to stay, if they want to continue to reside in their homes they might actually consider getting out of drug dealing before the bylaws are enforced.
· Over the past years there have been many talks of getting users the help they need but in those talks the phrases “they have to want to get help” or “they have to reach out” has been said repeatedly with no actual meaning to it. When in addiction, the mind is not functioning the way it should be. You don’t get high and think “I should get help” when your high, you’re high that’s it. Your mind is no place to tell you that you are struggling with addiction. In fact most addicts think that they are not addicted, that they will get over it or that it is not a big deal. But that is what the drug wants you to think. If the drug dealers are not around, the users will have no choice but to go through withdrawal and finally coming to a state of mind that can help them seek out recovery but that is a seemingly impossible thing to do with the drug dealers still very much present. So when the users want to sober up, they can’t because they know that the drugs are right there for them.
· I also wanted to bring up how much the pandemic is affecting the users. It is taking a strain on their mental health, as if it isn’t bad enough already. Not to mention that they are at a higher risk of catching the virus due to their already weakened immune system. Drug dealers come in and out of the reserve often to re-up on their supply, making contact with other people then coming back. Due to the borders being closed because of the pandemic, drug dealers have been unable to access the actual drug itself and therefore are mixing drugs so they can continue their profit. This is happening everywhere, not just here. When mixing drugs it becomes even more fatal then it already is which has been killing our people faster than usual. This could be a crucial time to get drugs out of the reserve as we do not know for sure how long this pandemic will last.
· When I think about the people I used to get high with, it brings a lot of heaviness to my mind and my heart. To know that they are still in that life; that they are still fighting this horrendous battle with addiction…is so heartbreaking. I was fortunate enough to make it out but I know that pain, I know firsthand what that hurt feels like. I think of them often and I want to help them, I want to bring them back to sobriety, I want them to know that they are not alone. I truly wish that there was someone like me when I was lost in addiction, someone wanting to save me when I felt like nobody would because that is what they feel. Lost and hopeless, like the whole world has given up on them because they are seen as nothing but another addict. I can’t imagine letting more of our youth go through that, watching them fall into that category of hopelessness when we could have done something about it. Why not act now and get drugs out of the reserve. The providers don’t see what we see; they don’t understand how much damage they are doing. There is already a dent on our young people who don’t know their roots or understand where they come from. If we continue to let the dealers do what they have been doing, we may end up permanently losing the roots to our young ones. Let’s beat the systematic stereo types that are upon us. We are not just reserves full of drugs, addiction and homelessness. We are better than that. Help me get drugs out of our communities, help me save our people.
Just a reminder that anyone under the age of 21 can sign the petition but so we know you are underage please write your name and beside your name put ,u21 in brackets.
I have thought about the after process and what we can do to further support and help this cause and that is something I can bring forward on a later date.
I am still thinking of ways to share my petition to those I can’t reach through facebook. I think that maybe after the lockdown is lifted and it’s safe that I will print hard copies of the petition and deliver them house to house to present and collect signatures for those that are unable to sign online. The difficult thing is that not everyone has an email so getting them to sign online wouldn’t be as easy as it would be for others which is why I think the hard copies would be a good idea. But if anyone has any other ideas please let me know, I would greatly appreciate it.
So that is my presentation, I hope you all understand where I am coming from and understand how important I think this really is. Thank you for reading and thank you for your support.
***ATTENTION: IF YOU ARE NOT A STONEY NATION MEMBER WITH A BAND MEMBER NUMBER STARTING WITH 433-Chiniki, 473-Bearspaw, 475-Wesley, PLEASE DO NOT SIGN. THIS PETITION IS FOR STONEY NATION MEMBERS ONLY WHICH INCLUDE MORLEY, EDEN VALLEY AND BIG HORN.***
We, the undersigned, recognize that drug abuse exists in our community. We, the undersigned, desire to end the drug abuse. Our solution is for our elected officials to ratify a Drug and Alcohol By-law that will be enforced on the Reserve lands that fall under the jurisdiction of the Band Council: