Carrier and Sekani Chiefs are declaring a state of emergency due to the ongoing opioid crisis, during the pandemic’s fourth wave.

In addition to Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS), 11 Nation Chiefs are calling on the Canadian and Provincial Governments to take immediate action: a comprehensive and serious commitment to combat the opioid crisis that continues to claim lives at increasingly alarming rates.

Indigenous people across the north are experiencing alarming rates of overrepresentation in overdose deaths, and CSFS is seeking funds to construct and operate a Healing/Treatment Centre.

“Carrier Sekani Family Services is poised and ready to increase capacity and services for the Addictions and Recovery program (ARP) with our planned Healing/Treatment Centre, and we have a strong track record of successfully designing and delivering services to the communities we serve,” said Chief Corrina Leween, CSFS Board President.

“What we require now is a financial commitment from the federal and provincial governments that claim to prioritize Indigenous needs. To highlight this – I can share with you that in the past two weeks, the communities we serve lost three more lives to this crisis. Three more people who were loved and were deserving of help.” Leween continued.

In July, it was announced a holistic Healing/Treatment Centre on Tachick Lake near Vanderhoof would be developed following some deliberation with the province and the Agricultural Land Commission.