'You gotta walk your talk': Siksika chief and councillors to undergo drug tests
Move comes as reserve sees uptick in crystal meth trafficking and violence
By Allison Dempster, CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2017 7:00 AM MT Last Updated: Apr 20, 2017 7:00 AM MT
An unusual item is on the agenda when Siksika Nation councillors next meet: urine samples for drug tests.
The chief and all 12 band councillors have agreed to take drug tests in an effort to act as positive role models. The move comes as the reserve faces increased issues with crystal meth.
Chief Joe Weasel Child stresses the drug tests are voluntary.
"I don't think it was very much of a debate. I think everybody wanted to do this to set an example," Weasel Child said.
"After we made the announcement that we were going to do this a lot of people said, 'It's about time'. It's good. It tells everybody you're serious about it and, as the chief said, you gotta walk your talk," said councillor Francis Wolfleg.
Crystal meth trafficking on the reserve has picked up over the last year, according to councillor Reuben Breaker.
"And there's so much violence and everything that goes with it. That's where we're seeing a lot of gun activity, domestic violence and everything that follows," said Breaker, who is part of a new crime prevention task force formed earlier this month.
The team is working on measures including a band council resolution that would see drug traffickers banished from the reserve, Breaker said.
The chief and council members will take voluntary drug tests on April 24.
They aren't ruling out making it a regular practice.
"Further down the line, who knows? If that's what the people want, we'll do it twice a year — whatever the people want," said Breaker.
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