State of emergency declared in Peter Ballantyne First Nation after teen death – Global News

October 18, 2023

Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation declared a state of emergency Tuesday after the death of a 17-year-old in Deschambault Lake, Sask.

The First Nation said the event underscores an escalation of violence in communities like Pelican Narrows and Deschambault Lake.

“The loss of such a young life has profoundly impacted our community. The constant sound of gunfire has left our members in a constant state of concern and distress due to the relentless violence,” said Chief Karen Bird of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN).

“Although these incidents demand our immediate attention, we stand firm in our resolve not to be ruled by fear.”

Bird said security measures have had to be increased for things like health-care services due to professionals in the community having concerns for their safety.

“Historically speaking, PBCN, known to have one of the highest crime rates in the country, has faced socio-economic challenges. Federal reports have identified issues such as limited and inadequate housing, high unemployment, and increasing crime rates as factors intensifying community tensions,” the First Nation said.

Bird said there’s an urgent need for sufficient resources, funding and support to guarantee a safe and secure environment.

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