'We don’t want any more deaths': Northern Sask. community declares state of emergency
SASKATOON -- Following a rash of criminal activity, a northern Saskatchewan community has declared a state of emergency.
The Onion Lake Cree Nation band office sent out a news release on Thursday saying the emergency was called after "a rash of drug and gang-related activity which has directly led to increased violence in the community.”
In a news conference called Friday morning, Chief Henry Lewis said there have been two homicides and a third death is under investigation.
“We don’t want any more deaths,” Lewis told reporters in the conference.
“There’s a lot of fear out there. Some people have mentioned moving their kids to a larger unban centre to go to school and the band wants to stop that from happening.”
The band office said it hopes the provincial and federal governments "step up to help Onion Lake deal with is increasing drug and gang-related problems."
Saskatchewan Emergency Response crews, the RCMP and community members are working on addressing the problem.
They plan to conduct road blockades and vehicle searches.
According to the band office, more than 50 per cent people living on the reserve are under 30 years old.
The band is creating a "safe house" for people to get away from gang violence.
Lewis said all nations need to join together to put a stop to gang violence.