The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is calling for a more comprehensive effort to try and stop people from drinking and driving in the province.
'Education is the foundational pillar.' - FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron
"Our prayers go out to the many family and friends of the victims of drinking and driving," said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.
The appeal comes a little more than a week after a Saskatoon family was killed on the highway just outside the city, when their car was rammed by an alleged drunk driver. A mother, father and two young children died in that crash.
"Our First Nation communities know all too well the devastating impact of drinking and driving, and our current efforts to curb this behaviour appear to be failing," said Cameron. "This is a significant stain on the province, and the death and disability that incur have far reaching impacts on individuals, families, communities and government budgets."
Current approach not working
The FSIN noted that Saskatchewan holds the "dubious distinction" of having the greatest number of drunk driving incidents in Canada, and stated that although tougher penalties were introduced recently, they seem to have little impact.
The federation is instead suggesting collaboration on a new multi-pronged approach centred on education.
"Education is a foundational pillar for the FSIN, and it is key to changing behaviours," said Cameron.
In addition, the FSIN points out that there is no public transportation where many First Nations people live. The federation would like to see accessible and affordable transportation options in rural areas.