A letter to the Lethbridge Herald from a Blood Tribe member is urging other members to “be asking questions and be well informed of what our leaders are imposing on the people of the Blood Tribe.”
Mike Day Chief’s May 23 letter was prompted by Chief Roy Fox and council’s recent decision to enact a bylaw that forces non-members to pay a fee to enter the reserve.
The reason behind the bylaw, which came into force on May 13, was to keep drugs and drug dealers from the Kainai Nation in hopes of curbing the numbers of deaths from fentanyl and other opioid overdoses.
Day Chief writes community members are concerned that the bylaw will not have such an effect.
The bylaw states, in part, “Any person found on the Reserve who is not a Blood Tribe member is presumed to be trespassing unless they can prove otherwise.”
A permit system has been instituted, and in some case as much as $500 annually will be charged for companies owned by non-members. Chief and council say the money will be used to offset the cost of the program.
But that’s not how Day Chief sees it. He says the bylaw may simply be a form of tax to “recover deficits accumulated by previous leaderships.”