Some community members in Morley are speaking out after a rash of violent crime, and voicing concern for the reservation's people and future generations.

Some Morley residents are expressing shame, fear, disgust, and embarrassment of their own people.

Community member Brett Benjamin blames hardcore drugs such as meth and lack of parental control as big factors.

"It boils down to discipline and the way we discipline our kids. If we don't discipline properly it is just going to snowball."

Adele Rabbitt says Morley is in a state of emergency. Drug addiction is taking a toll on the community and robbing them of a sense of pride.

"There is a lot of drug activity out on the reserve, a lot of trafficking, it happens out in the open but yet people don't want to say anything. I really think to be honest we are in a state of emergency, where our reserve needs help with the drugs not only with the street drugs but prescription drugs. We are in a state where we are wondering if we can be helped at all because it's really sad, the majority of people are on something. At first it was alcohol, but alcohol is nothing now, it is more the street drugs and prescription pills that control them."

Benjamin estimates 95% of the nation is afraid to speak up because of retaliation within and off the nation as well as political repercussions; but Benjamin can only hope his people start to speak up and vocalize their concerns.

"I'm not afraid to talk about it. Somebody has to say something because it has to start with one person. I am pretty sure we all talk about it with in the community but when it comes to outside sources I think we are afraid to speak up or speak out."

Benjamin says fighting the stigma is hard.

"At least about 35% of us are trying to live a good life, an addiction free life but then you have the 65% which sadly we deal with drugs, alcohol and gambling, the daily demons is what controls them."

Corporal Troy Savinkoff says he is not sure drug use is more rampant on the reserve compared to elsewhere, but blames the severity of the drugs.

"We do feel that a lot of the serious offenses that occurred out in the Morley area in the last month or so a good portion of them are drug related, that's not to say that there's more drug use on the reserve; but there seems to be a bit of a change perhaps in the methodology that individuals are using as well as the types of drugs that are being used, which may have contributed to the types of crime we are seeing."

What could help? Suggestions of better police support, more resources, education, positive leadership, and belief are all good starts, however, Benjamin believes in order to be successful the nation needs to unite and come together.

"Some of our people are lost. All we can do is educate ourselves and move forward and try to revitalize our people to the point where okay we have to stop killing ourselves, we have to stop the daily demons."

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

 

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