Troubled Alberta reserve wants to evict criminals

Band leaders in Hobbema, Alta. will attempt to end gang violence on the troubled reserve by proceeding with a bylaw to evict residents convicted of serious criminal offences.
RCMP Sgt. Ralph Cardinal and Samson Cree Band Coun. Kirk Buffalo discuss the band's new violence reduction plan. (CBC)

Band leaders in Hobbema, Alta., will attempt to end gang violence on the troubled reserve by proceeding with a bylaw to evict residents convicted of serious criminal offences.

"If they can't respect themselves, respect the community, we, in turn, will show no respect," Samson Cree Coun. Kirk Buffalo said Wednesday at a news conference in the community 90 kilometres south of Edmonton.

The band also wants to install more street lights in the community. Crews are also clearing brush where gang members are known to hide out and stash weapons.

The proposals came out of a meeting held between RCMP and Samson Cree band councillors after the shooting death of Chelsea Yellowbird early Monday morning.

Yellowbird, 23, was shot at a house known for gang activity, located right next door to where her nephew, five-year-old Ethan Yellowbird, was slain in a drive-by shooting on July 11.

No arrests have been made in Chelsea Yellowbird's death. RCMP say charges are pending against two people they say are connected to a second shooting the same night, which resulted in no injuries.

Police can't say if there is any connection between the two shootings.

The Samson Cree First Nation has been trying to grapple with on-going problems with gang-related violence over the last number of years.

Hobbema is home to four First Nations: Samson Cree, Ermineskin, Montana, and Louis Bull Tribe.