As part of the war on drugs at Dakota Tipi First Nation, situations have gone so far as to see the community exert its power to evict those involved in trafficking. Braden Pashe is a justice coordinator facing the combat on the frontlines.
He notes there's a lack of funding in dealing with issues that not only affect their reserve but neighbouring Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area.
"I did talk to the Chief and council and we are planning a lockdown and a curfew," says Pashe, "to monitor everybody coming and going from our community. We're running on next to nothing for funding. We don't have the proper equipment, and the proper vehicles."
Pashe says in the 80s and 90s, he worked with the RCMP and Dakota Ojibway Police Service at the time, who are the Manitoba First Nations Police Services, enabling him to train men today to help out. He works with them and monitors their efforts. Pashe says much of their efforts are voluntary, due to the lack of funding. They will soon be setting up a curfew, as well.
"We need the vehicles. It's (the curfew) going to come into effect shortly because it's a demand that people need to know who's coming and going from the community."
He says they decided they're going to start implementing evictions.
"Back when I was a band constable, I was working with councillor Karl Stone. We had some similar problems with other related things. So, we just evicted the people. We are allowed to. So, I think that's what it's coming down to. We're going to start evicting people and banishing people, if you have to, whatever it takes to combat the problem. That's what our next step is where we gave out eviction notices to four known drug dealers."
Pashe explains if a person doesn't own the home, and evictions cannot take place, they will be banished. It's part of their housing policy. Anyone associated with drugs in any way gives the right of the Band Office to evict or banish. He points out this month will witness a strong-armed course of action.
"On November 16th, we will be demolishing a home that's a drug dealer's home," notes Pashe. "The yard has just deteriorated. He has no control over who goes in that house. So, it just became like a drug house. The (drug) traffic is crazy."
He notes they're going into this home and the safety officers will clear the house.
Pashe points out the by-law on paper. He explains many by-laws are only enforced by taking people to court, which makes it hard, seeing as no funding is available for that. However, he notes, their Sovereign Nation rights can help them by taking these stiff measures.
"Especially the drug dealers that are needed to be evicted," says Pashe. "We do have that right."
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