First Nation Teens in Critical Condition

Used Ecstacy at Wedding Reception

PAUL FIRST NATION, AB, March 23 – Two teenage girls from Paul First Nation, west of Edmonton, are in critical condition in an Edmonton hospital after ingesting drugs following a wedding reception at a traditional Wedding Round Dance on Saturday. Two other girls were taken to hospital, where one is stable and one is recovering, according to Band officials.Paul First Nation leadership is working closely with the RCMP, which is investigating the issue.

Chief Daniel Paul said “The community is coming together to support the families of the girls. It is devastating to all of us, especially as these girls are all good students — good kids. The drugs are coming on to our lands from dealers in Edmonton, and we have to take steps to stop this before further damage is done.”

A crisis unit from the Band’s Health and Education Department is meeting today with youth from the First Nation, to provide counsel and assistance.

Six workers have been assigned to initially meet with teens were attended the reception. They will be making sure that all members of the Paul First Nation, and particularly the young, are aware that a dangerous drug is in circulation.

Dennis Paul, a spokesman for the Band, said “These workers have the skills to address this problem. They will be providing support and education about the problem drug that has been brought onto our land.”

He added that drugs and alcohol are not permitted in the community hall during receptions, and that it is believed the girls used the drugs outside the reception.

For further information: Dennis Paul – Band spokesman, (780) 892-2691 or (780) 554-6888

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