In 2018, the chief and council of Splatsin Nation in B.C. agreed to undergo a three-month voluntary testing for illicit drug use.
“With the legalization of cannabis by the Federal government, and the ongoing social issues concerning addictions, this council felt strongly that we need to be transparent and do this drug test,” said Splatsin Chief (Kukpi7) Wayne Christian.
“We wanted to show our people, especially the youth, that we are clean from drugs.”
A press release reports that Splatsin is proud to be one of the few, but growing, Indigenous leadership councils that have volunteered for this type of testing.
“It is the belief of council that, as the representatives of the Splatsin members, we need to practice good governance and leadership principles that are open and transparent,” said Christian.
A drug analysis using hair samples was collected, and chief and council tested negative, says the release.
The Splatsin are the most southern tribe of the Secwepemc Nation, the largest Interior Salish speaking First Nation in Canada. The territory stretches from the BC/Alberta border near the Yellowhead Pass to the plateau west of the Fraser River, southeast to the Arrow Lakes and to the upper reaches of the Columbia River.