January 24, 2020

Treaty 6 Territory, Onion Lake Cree Nation – Leadership of the Onion Lake Cree Nation (OLCN) have declared a State of Emergency after a rash of drug and gang related activity which has directly led to increased violence in the community. OLCN Chief and Council held an emergency meeting on January 22nd to discuss and strategize a way to deal with increasing drug and gang activity within the community of Onion Lake Cree Nation. On January 21st, 2020, the community of Onion Lake experienced what are believed to be drug and gang related occurrences. In the early afternoon, RCMP were involved in a high-speed chase through the community. Within a few hours of the chase, the body of a missing man was discovered by a search and rescue crew combing an area situated near the community of Onion Lake. The RCMP Major Crimes Unit is on the scene and continuing with their investigation.

Later the same evening, following a community hockey game at the OLCN Arena, a stolen vehicle lost control while speeding into the community and drove into the parking lot of the arena, colliding with the side wall of the building, causing extensive damages. Local officials found what is believed to be gangaffiliated graffiti inside the vehicle involved in the collision. The Nation has now experienced three deaths directly related to drugs and gang activity within the last two months, along with numerous highspeed chases and violent crimes. Leadership is declaring a State of Emergency today in the hopes that the Federal and Provincial Governments step in to help Onion Lake deal with its increasing drug and gang related problems. Treaty 6 is a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance. And since the time of entering into Treaty with the Crown, OLCN has worked closely with the RCMP for the assistance and protection of its people. “The RCMP are working hard and trying their best but they need more help. Their resources are stretched too thin and our community needs the support of both levels of Government before it gets worse” says OLCN Okimaw Henry Lewis. Currently the local RCMP detachment has experienced above average monthly open case files. OLCN leadership is urgently calling on the Provincial and Federal Crown for the assistance and protection promised in the Treaty.

“This problem has been steadily increasing over the last year and it is now to the point that we are having three very serious and scary incidences happening in one day. Everyone is stretched to their limits” says Okimaw Lewis. “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. We need to increase policing resources, bring in external gang units or whatever is necessary to help our community members feel safe.”

Onion Lake has approximately 4000 people living on reserve and is situated 50 km north of Lloydminster.

For more information, please contact:
Onion Lake Communications
Philip Chief, Director of Operations
Onion Lake Cree Nation
Cell: 306.344.4200 ext. 2510

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Last modified: January 24, 2020

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