Bootleggers are an old NWT problem. Covid-19 is a new worry. – Cabin Radio

Indigenous leaders across the NWT are imploring bootleggers to stop, worried they may bring Covid-19 into small communities alongside drugs and alcohol.

Speaking in a video from her home in Inuvik, Gwich’in Tribal Council Grand Chief Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan said she had spoken with Elders, members, and regional leaders who share the same concern.

“I’ve been getting reports that in some communities, bootleggers are not only hiking up their prices, they’re doing home delivery,” she said.

“It’s bad enough some of our families are struggling to make ends meet – and then now, during a crisis, you’re going to take advantage of that and make more money? It’s just beyond me.

“There’s a lot of irresponsible drinking going on, a lot of partying still going on. And our Elders are very worried,” Greenland-Morgan continued. She explained Elders are concerned that people not practising physical distancing will pick up the virus and bring it home to their families.

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