The chief and council of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba plan to demolish two homes in the community this week suspected of being used for drug production.
Newly-elected band councillor Dylan Courchene said leadership in the community about 100 km northeast of Winnipeg have received numerous complaints about the homes, and former addicts have told them that meth is being produced there.
“There’s so much traffic within these homes at all hours of the night,” said Courchene.
“You have people walking in and out at four, five, and six in the morning and they’re totally out of it.”
The RCMP’s drug and tactical unit has been notified and the First Nation plans to work closely with them to see if the homes are being used to produce meth. Toxic residue from meth production and use can leave a home uninhabitable.
Under the Indian Act, First Nations band councils have the power to move and evict citizens. A plan to evict the occupants and demolish the homes was drafted by band council and presented to the community’s elders council on Monday evening, with around 50 elders present.
With the elders council’s blessing, band council gave the occupants two days to leave the homes. They plan to begin Friday with a ceremony and then proceed to demolish the homes. Sagkeeng’s leadership are asking community members to join the proceedings.
Elders concerned about safety
The decision to take a hard stance against comes one month after Sagkeeng’s band election.
Second term councillor Lin Dorie said drugs are one of the major issues that the community is facing and the problem has gotten worse over the years.
The band recently hired two constables and have hired security guards to help patrol the community due to concerns from elders.
“They’re expressing that we need to do more to protect the people because we have a lot of break and enters and we have a lot of home invasions,” said Dorie.
According to Courchene, the community also plans on doing more to help people struggling with addictions.
“We introduced through our treatment centre, a detox program for users who are going through addictions. We are advocating for additional funding to have a detox centre here,” said Courchene.