Deninu Kue First Nation wants Fort Resolution hamlet to stop serving beer at dances
Fight at New Year's Eve dance renews debate between First Nation and hamlet
The chief of the Deninu Kue First Nation wants the Hamlet of Fort Resolution to stop holding dances where alcohol is served after a fight broke out at a dance on New Year's Eve.
Louis Balsillie says the First Nation has opposed such dances in the past, and that the recent incident only reinforces its position.
"There's people going out for treatment in the community," he said. "People are drinking for days on end after the wet dance is over.
"I can't stop people from drinking but I can try and stop these events."
In a letter, he called on the hamlet to stop holding wet dances.
"As a governing body in Fort Resolution, we are demanding that DKFN is asked to provide approval for future functions," the letter says.
Fort Resolution RCMP said a fight broke out at the end of the New Year's Eve dance. Nine people were taken into custody.
The RCMP said there were 24 incidents in the community that night, all alcohol-related.
Fort Resolution doesn't have a liquor store but there are no restrictions on alcohol possession in the community and people can apply for liquor licences for events.
The hamlet holds about two wet dances a year where beer is served.
Mayor Gary Bailey said he agrees some community members struggle with alcohol but said he personally doesn't have a problem with serving beer at hamlet dances.
"Do you shut down dances because of a few bad apples or do you deal with the bad apples and try and have your community grow together, get along and dance and have a great time together?" he said.
"It's a reality that alcohol is legal. People who can't handle it shouldn't drink."
Bailey said if a petition with more than half the community's support in favour of prohibiting wet dances is submitted to council, he would gladly shut them down.