Red Lake State Of The Band Address Offers Solutions To Curve Opioid Crisis
Today’s Red Lake State Of The Band address covered many topics, but there was one subject that was prominently highlighted: the opioid crisis.
“It just hurts our families, our friends and it’s not our culture, but it’s here,” says Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr.
Last July, the tribe declared a state of emergency after a number of overdoses. Some new rules were stated during the address to help curve the epidemic, such as one saying members can be banished for five years if caught selling drugs. Red Lake is also looking to add long-term treatment options for those affected. During the address, groups who are helping to put an end to the epidemic were highlighted. One of those groups is called “The 3 Day Team.”
“Every three days, we have a meeting about the crisis – the drug crisis we have here in Red Lake,” says Red Lake Nation Executive Director Thomas Cain, Jr. “We come together with the programs that are dealing with our crisis. They share with one another what each program is doing and they share the numbers.”
“These programs are the ones that are working behind the scenes. 100%, or maybe 90 to 100% a lot of the time, they don’t get thanked or acknowledged for what they do,” says Seki, Sr.
The tribe is also working on a few new things like a solar project. Red Lake also recently purchased a building down in Minneapolis that will be renovated to provide housing for members living in the Twin Cities. Last, elections are coming up in May. Red Lake members were encouraged to update their voter information and register if they recently turned 18.
“We need strong leaders. They need to be balanced; they need to know the people. They need to know themselves and know who we are as a nation. With all those ingredients, I think that’s going to be the strength that’s going to carry us through this crisis,” says Cain, Jr.
The state health emergency has been extended for six more months. Tribal members are hopeful their new solutions will eventually put an end to the crisis.