Skip to content

Feds and RCMP step up to help Red Pheasant Cree Nation

Federal government and Battlefords RCMP say they are working closely with Red Pheasant Cree Nation.
Red Pheasant Cree Nation declared a state of emergency Saturday in response to the escalating drug problem in their community after seven people overdosed in one day.

RED PHEASANT – The federal government and RCMP both say they are committed to providing support to Red Pheasant Cree Nation after they declared a state of emergency Saturday.

On Tuesday, the office of the federal Minister of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) told that they are working closely with Red Pheasant Cree Nation.

“We are wholeheartedly with the families in Red Pheasant Cree Nation that are impacted by this tragedy,” said Zeus Eden, Press Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services. “We will be at their sides to support them as they manage the devastating impacts of this crisis.”

In 2023-24, ISC provided $275,000 in funding for the Battlefords Agency Tribal Council to support the creation of a community-led mental wellness team. In addition, ISC has hired three mental wellness therapists since Sept. 1. After an additional request from the community on Thursday, a fourth therapist was deployed earlier today, said Eden.

“ISC officials are regularly in touch with Chief Benson of Red Pheasant Cree Nation, Battlesford Agency Tribal Council’s health director and representatives from the community. Minister Hajdu’s office has also reached out to the community.”

The minister’s office said they take this seriously and say they are making historic investments in mental health and substance use prevention and treatment services.

“That is why since 2015, our Liberal government has doubled funding for Indigenous mental health services from $325 million in 2015 to more than $650 million this year,” said Eden.

“We will continue to work with community leaders to meet the urgent demands of this pressing crisis.”

Likewise, on Tuesday, the Battlefords RCMP said they are working collaboratively with Red Pheasant Cree Nation after the drug overdoses.

“Our detachment has engaged support units such as resources from our Battlefords RCMP Gang Task Force and General Investigation Sections as well as the Saskatchewan RCMP’s Crime Reduction Team, to provide increased physical police presence and increased investigational capacity in the community,” said Inspector Jesse Gilbert, officer in charge of Battlefords RCMP.

“What we need from the community is any information related to the presence of illicit substances. This can be scary – to contact police to report illegal activity, but with key information, we can specifically target where and how the drugs are entering the community. We understand risks that can be associated with reporting information to the police. Please know you can report information via Crime Stoppers – it’s 100 per cent anonymous.

“The reality is, multiple people from Red Pheasant Cree Nation nearly died this weekend because of the presence of illegal substances,” added Inspector Gilbert. "Help us, so we can target the drugs present in the community and help prevent future overdoses.

“The RCMP is only one piece of the response. Further conversations and collaboration must occur with the Red Pheasant Cree Nation community, health and harm reduction/support services to address drug presence concerns over the long term," said Inspector Gilbert. 

The leadership of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in response to the escalating drug problem in their community after seven people overdosed in one day.

The First Nation is concerned about the increased violence and how it affects the safety of their people.

Austin Ahenakew Red Pheasant spokesperson, said the seven people who overdosed in one day are recovering.

The RCMP confirmed that they weren’t aware of any drug-related deaths from this past weekend occurring on the Red Pheasant Cree Nation.


Don't count on social media to deliver your local news to you. Keep local news a touch away by bookmarking's homepage at this link.

Click to bookmark our Crime, Cops and Court section.

Here's why you should bookmark your favourite