Canada | Law

Blood Tribe cites drug crisis in requiring permits for non-citizens

The Kanai Marketplace, a business owned by the Blood Tribe in Alberta. Photo: Premier of Alberta

A drug epidemic has prompted the Blood Tribe to implement a tough trespassing law.

The new bylaw went into effect on Saturday. It requires all non-citizens to obtain permits when visiting, working or residing on the reserve in Alberta, Canada.

“The biggest reason for instituting the new trespass bylaw was to help curtail the sale of harmful drugs to our people on the reserve,” Chief Roy Fox said at a press conference on Monday, Global News reported. “We have gone through a crisis. It is still with us. Some very serious drugs were killing our people.”

The tribe declared an emergency in March 2015 to address opioid abuse on the reserve. In one six-month period alone, 20 people died and 60 overdosed on the drug.

A fee schedule lists the amounts non-citizens must pay to be on the reserve. Visitors to public events and minors are exempt.

The bylaw empowers the Blood Tribe Police to ask people to prove they have a reason to be on the reserve.

Read More on the Story:
Blood Tribe chief hopes new trespass bylaw will ‘prevent the deaths of our people’ (Global News 5/15)
Trespass bylaw clarified (The Lethbridge Herald 5/15)
Blood Tribe Trespass bylaw in effect today (The Lethbridge Herald 5/13)

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Blood Tribe combats rise in abuse of extremely dangerous drug (May 27, 2015)
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