ONION LAKE, Sask. — A Saskatchewan First Nation has declared a state of emergency and is looking for provincial and federal government help to stop drug- and gang-related violence in its community.
The chief and council of the Onion Lake Cree Nation met this week to discuss possible solutions and issued a news release on Thursday.
It said there have been three deaths in the community in the last two months related to drugs and gangs, numerous high-speed chases and violent crimes.
It added that on just one day this week there was another high-speed pursuit, the discovery of a missing man's body and the crash of a stolen vehicle into the band's arena.
Braden Richard Bull, who was 32, had been reported missing on Jan. 17.
The release said officials found what is believed to have been gang-affiliated graffiti inside the vehicle that hit and damaged the arena.
"The RCMP are working hard and trying their best but they need more help," said Onion Lake Chief Henry Lewis. "Their resources are stretched too thin and our community needs the support of both levels of government before it gets worse.
"We need the government to come to our tables and help us create a gang strategy and find solutions that will work for our nation," he said.
"We need to increase policing resources, bring in external gang units or whatever is necessary to help our community members feel safe."
Onion Lake straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. (CKOM)
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020