Sheshatshiu votes 'no' to alcohol ban

People in Sheshatshiu have voted no to ban alcohol on the reserve.

Residents of Sheshatshiu voted 'no' Friday to an alcohol ban on the reserve.

Band council manager Greg Pastitshi said he was very disappointed but remarked "the people spoke."

The voter turnout was rather low with only 216 people of the community's 1,300 residents participating. There were four spoiled ballots, and 117 people voted against the ban while 95 voted in favour of it.

The Innu band council first considered the idea of a ban last summer. Social Health Director Jack Penashue said they started thinking about it after a number of alcohol-related crimes.

"I think it was a long time coming. There was a drunk driving accident, it was a fatal accident, that happened in the summer. And a lot of the community members, and elders and children included, said 'we've got to do something about this,'" said Penashue.

If the vote had passed, Sheshatshiu would have become Labrador's second dry community.

Natuashish voted to ban alcohol in 2010.