This comes after the BC Government announced its plans to appoint experts to investigate the issue and develop a plan post-pandemic.
In a release, the Tsilhqot’in National Government stated the pandemic has amplified the issue of drug and alcohol addiction in First Nations communities.
It went on to say prompt and transformed action, which includes Indigenous-led solutions, is needed to address the root cause of what is leading to these prolific offenses.
TNG Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse said the Government talked about being innovative yet there was no mention at all about involving Indigenous people, it was all about Municipalities.
“To me, that’s the Provincial Government caving into Municipal leaders in the province.” Alphonse said, “Sadly they’re doing this to appease political pressure and not doing it for the right reasons. They definitely need to address and have a hard, long look at dealing with prolific offenders but they need to include Indigenous people and if they’re going to get creative, then they have to look at their whole court system, structures, and stuff like that.”
The TNG is calling on the Government to redirect some of its funding to supporting First Nations across the province to tackle this issue directly in their communities.
“It is time to consider a new approach, which includes more funding and support for Tsilhqot’in communities to deal with the underlying issues, as well as supporting our Tribal Police initiatives. It is far too costly to continue the failed policies and processes of the Government, our People are suffering and the lack of progress is leading to criminal ramifications,” Alphonse said in a release.