Sask. First Nations sue Government of Canada over opioid epidemic – CTV News

Two northern Saskatchewan First Nations are taking the Canadian government to court for breaching its Treaty obligations by failing to address the opioid epidemic.

Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation filed a statement of claim on Friday invoking provisions of Treaty 6 that offer support from “pestilence,” and the so-called “medicine chest” clause, “which mandate support and medical care to First Nations.”

The opioid epidemic has caused “devastating loss” to First Nation communities, La La Ronge Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said in a news release.

“The opioid epidemic caused, and continues to cause, Treaty 6 Nations to suffer harm including (but not limited to) increased opioid-related crime, cultural loss, adverse health outcomes, and social problems. Treaty 6 Nations have incurred, and continue to incur, significant costs to abate the effects of the opioid epidemic on their reserves and in their communities for which Canada is liable,” the lawsuit alleges.

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