The Per Cap Patrol — a grassroots effort of Band members and allies to combat drug abuse and drug trafficking — set up a tent in the Grand Market parking lot December 5 to discourage drug sales and offer help to anyone seeking healing from addiction.
A crackling fire and free coffee from Grand Market helped keep participants warm, and many Band members showed their support with honks, waves, and food donations.
Tribal Police Chief Sara Rice, Deputy Chief James West, and Sergeant Derrick Naumann also came to offer thanks, support, and encouragement, while asking the group to stay safe in their anti-drug activities. They were invited by Luther Sam, who said the group wanted to show appreciation to Tribal Police.
Band member Terry Kemper talked about working at White Earth, where officers would sometimes join Band members at the drum, and he asked it the officers would like to join them for a song. Bob Eagle brought out his drum and welcomed the officers and DNR biologist Carl Klimah to the drum. Terry talk- ed about the importance of the drum and the pipe in bringing healing to the community.
Chief Rice said, “Everyone knows I’m the Band member on the Tribal Police force, but I want you to know that all of these guys share the values I have as an Anishinaabe.”
After the song, she told the group how much it meant to her to see the officers welcomed. “These guys are my family,” she said. “They’re my brothers.”
Q/A What brings you out on a cold morning like this?
Allen Weyaus: The big heroin problem out here, it’s affecting not only the people who use it, but the family also. It’s real important that we address that as a community and for community members to come together to sup- port one another.
Ashley Diver (Fond du Lac Band, Natives AgainstHeroin):IsawonFacebookthattheMille Lacs Band was going to do a Per Cap Patrol, and that’s what we do on our reservation, too. We come out and support our brothers and sisters, and fight addiction. We’re just out here to show that we care about them and we want them to come back into our community in a positive way.
Danielle Houle: I’m out here because I care about our people. I know this drug epidemic is serious. It’s taking our people, and I don’t want to see another funeral. Seeing us out here helps people. It gives people hope. And that’s what Sober Squad’s about: Giving people hope and letting people know that we’re out here, that we will support you, we will help you.
Join the Movement!
To find help and support or to stay up- to-date on anti-drug events, search for these Facebook pages:
– Mille Lacs Band Community issues and information
– Sober Squad
– Natives Against Heroin