A tri-reserve Drug Awareness March was held on September 23.
Starting at the Cote First Nation (FN) band office, students along with parents of Cote, Keeseekoose and The Key Schools walked to the Keeseekoose Chief’s Education Complex to raise awareness of the drug problem facing the three communities.
Support for the walk included both Chief George Cote of Cote FN and Chief Calvin Straightnose of Keeseekoose FN, along with councillors from the three FNs, Elders and members of the Kamsack Detachment of the RCMP.
“My desire along with Chief Straightnose is to have a safe community for the future ‘Nation builders’ to grow up in,” said Chief Cote, after the march. “I will continue to pray for my Nation and other Nations that are going through this. One day we will live in the glory of God for a united Nation built on respect and love for one another.”
“It was so awesome to see our leaders supporting our youth in the walk, standing with them,” said Janice Straightnose, organizer. “I am touched by the enormous crowd of supporters who came with us, some walking, some driving their vehicles.”
Around 200 students participated in the event.
“The kids are amazing and making a statement with this drug awareness walk,” Chief Cote said. “No more drugs.”
The three FNs are currently working together to formulate a plan, including drafting new bylaws, to strengthen their position in the stand against addictions in the communities.
“We don’t need to lose any more community members to addictions,” continued Straightnose. “Those with addictions need support from the community. By coming together as a community, with our youth, we can emphasize that our future belongs to the youth.
“As a grandmother of nine, my grandchildren are my inspiration to get the message out, to reach out with help and love for one another.
“The three First Nations need to partner with the Town of Kamsack to combat the problem of drug sales, including crystal meth,” she concluded.