Community Feedback Wanted from All Members

There is a lot going on these days as the Council works diligently towards bettering our community in a complicated time. We have two new pieces of draft legislation, and are currently taking feedback on drafting a third:

These are bold initiatives that will help shape our future, and the Council and Administration needs your feedback. Follow the links above to have your say.

We understand that not all members have access to the internet, but we believe everybody’s voice counts. Paper copies of the drafts, as well as feedback forms, are available in the Band Office. You can drop in and pick up copies, or call Band Office reception at 519-534-1689 to have them delivered to your mailbox. Please share this info with all your relations that may not have internet access.

Feedback Invited for Draft Cannabis Control Law

The legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Canada has created an entire new industry and business ecosystem around it. While cannabis may be legal, the impacts of cannabis use and the industry may not be insignificant. Communities across Canada have had to grapple with the advent of legal cannabis and how to safely and responsibly manage the new industry in their jurisdiction.

Rather than entirely deregulate cannabis in Neyaashiinigmiing, the Council listened to the concerns of the membership and created a Cannabis Commission to propose a safe and responsible management strategy for the industry in our community. Working with our legal counsel, the Council has created a draft Cannabis Control Law for consideration by members of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. Visit the Feedback Page to read the proposed law and share your feedback with the Council.

The Council wants to hear from as many members as possible. We have scheduled a webinar for Monday September 14, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The draft law will be presented by a panel including Council members, legal counsel, and industry consultants. Members can register for the webinar here. For those that want to watch the webinar, without registering, we will also livestream the event to the Chippewas of Nawash Facebook page.

An Important Message to the Community from the Chief and Council

Our community has a drug problem. The abuse of drugs, particularly opioids, has become a crisis in our community and we are all deeply saddened by the number of drug overdoses and deaths Neyaashiinigmiing continues to suffer. We are all relations here, and we share equally the terrible pain of losing a loved one too soon. It wounds our souls and leaves us feeling empty and asking “why?” 

We do not blame the victims, neither those that have sadly passed, nor those that have happily survived the terrible, life-threatening consequences of drug abuse. We sincerely want to help drug users find their better path to living in a good way, and our many support programs stand ready to meet that need.

We have nothing but disgust and anger for the drug traffickers, however. These are criminals that are supplying potentially fatal illicit chemicals to our community. Drug traffickers are preying upon some of our most vulnerable residents for personal profit, without regard for the terrible harm drug abuse is inflicting on the community. They are enriching themselves by spreading poison throughout our home and risking the lives of our residents and relations. Drug traffickers have no place in Neyaashiinigmiing.

The Council is not in favour of telling people how to live their lives. Every individual is the person most responsible for his or her own actions, and the consequences of them. But when the lifestyle choices of some residents threaten harm to the health of the community, the Council is obliged to take strong action to protect our people – and we will.

The Council, in collaboration with our legal counsel, has prepared a draft Drug Trafficking By-law for consideration. Under the proposed by-law, convicted drug traffickers will be removed from the community and banned for a length of time proportionate to the seriousness of their conviction. This will remove a festering source of illness in Neyaashiinigmiing, and immediately improve the health and safety of our community. It is imperative that we act quickly, and also that we are both firm and fair to all residents and members. Persons removed from the community under the by-law will have an avenue to fairly appeal the decision to the Council.

The proposed by-law is available to the membership for review and we need your input. We invite every member to submit feedback on the proposed by-law in writing. The deadline for feedback will be September 16, 2020, 12:00 PM.

This is not a complete solution, and nobody, least of all the Council, believes it to be one. If we have any hope of healing our community, it must be in joining together as relations, friends and neighbours to push this scourge out of our home Neyaashiinigmiing. Staying silent as the people we know and love are exploited by drug traffickers gets us nowhere. The Council is calling upon all residents to speak up when you know something is wrong. 

If you know, or have good reason to believe, that someone is drug trafficking, please, for the sake of all of us, inform  the Nawash Police Service at 519-534-1233. If you have concerns about your safety or privacy, you can also leave an anonymous tip for the police at 519-534-5122. 

Help us keep our community safe for every generation!