Saskatchewan

Little Pine First Nation, Sask. considers banishment to deal with crime

Banishment was one of 11 recommendations to come forward in the community’s seminar.

Banishment 1 of 11 recommendations to come forward in the community’s seminar

Little Pine Fist Nation in Saskatchewan is looking at different ways to deal with crime in the community. (Robert Short/CBC)

Little Pine First Nation, Sask., is considering banishment as a way to deal with crime.

Banishment was one of eleven recommendations made at a seminar on Oct. 22. Community members, elders and the RCMP met to discuss the best ways to deal with problems in the community. The recent problems include break-ins, motor vehicle accidents, and shootings in the community, according to Jacob Pete, a band member who led the first meeting. 

Pete says there have been cases where a community member has returned to the First Nation after committing a crime, which causes trouble in the community. 

Bombard them with our traditional culture and spiritual concepts, get them to do a vision quest for five days, be alone for four days some place, and think about what they've done.- Jacob Pete

"Let's prove that they can do some kind of re-habilitation up there someplace, somewhere, and not come back and relive that past life," Pete said.

He favours banishment as a way to remove the person from the community, and also give them the health services that may only be available off-reserve.

Different approach with youth

When it comes to working with youth involved in crime, Pete says the community discussed a slightly different approach. The community would work with the youth and banish them to a camp outside the community for a short time.

"Bombard them with our traditional culture and spiritual concepts, get them to do a vision quest for five days, be alone for four days some place, and think about what they've done. Their relationship to nature, relationship to our people, try and re-establish the relationships that we had among us."

The next step to making the recommendation a reality would be to draft it into a bill. Another seminar on Nov. 24 will discuss the recommendations again. Pete says they've identified the problems, now they just have to find the solutions.

"The solution has to come from the community, it can't be super-imposed from the outside."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now