Driftpile band council submits to voluntary drug testing

The newly-elected Driftpile Band was sworn in Dec. 31. Left-right are Councillor April Isadore, Councillor Florence Willier, Councillor Hank Giroux, Councillor Jonnie Giroux, Chief Dwayne Laboucan, Councillor James Ward, Councillor Edward Collins, Councillor Napoleon Collins, and Councillor Starr Sasakamoose.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News
Trying to set a new standard and gaining the trust of its membership are the main reasons the newly-elected Driftpile First Nations band council submitted to drug testing in early January.

“We’re trying to set new standards,” says Chief Dwayne Laboucan, adding the decision has nothing to do with previous councils, nor will it included testing of employees.

The council was elected to a two-year term Dec. 19 and unanimously agreed to the tests, which were done in Slave Lake. All members passed clean.

Laboucan adds the move was also made to gain the trust of membership and to serve as role models for youth.

“We’re looking to lead by example,” says Councillor Starr Sasakamoose. “If [membership and youth] see the leaders doing this, they will tell their friends.”

Plans will be made to make drug testing annual.

A drug testing program can be made mandatory if the membership approves it by vote. Laboucan says it’s “safe to say we’ll take it to the people for a vote.”

Testing included cocaine, Phencyclidine [angel dust], MDMA [ecstacy], THC [marijuana], AMP [amphetamines], and opium.

Newly-elected Driftpile Band Chief Dwayne Laboucan dons his headdress during the ceremony Dec. 31.

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