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)

Related Stories:
Man from Blood Tribe charged with manslaughter for drug deaths (March 10, 2016)
Blood Tribe banishes five non-members for dealing drugs (November 13, 2015)
Blood Tribe sees big turnout at conference to address drug abuse (June 16, 2015)
Blood Tribe combats rise in abuse of extremely dangerous drug (May 27, 2015)
Tribes turn to banishment as means to address problem issues (April 21, 2015)
Blood Tribe charges three in response to drug overdose deaths (March 24, 2015)
Blood Tribe confirms 16 fatal overdoses from dangerous drug (March 23, 2015)
Blood Tribe declares emergency in response to drug problems (March 6, 2015)
Blood Tribe police form task force in response to drug problems (January 20, 2015)
Blood Tribe announces charges from drug busts on the reserve (May 8, 2014)