July 3, 2020 – We have been working closely with the Anishinabek Police Service (APS) to address multiple issues in our communities, especially in Garden Village. The APS is spending the majority of their time patrolling Nipissing, and has stressed the need for community members to report suspicious or criminal activities to police immediately for follow up. In the words of one APS Constable, police are only as good as the information they receive.
We need members to do their part and call 911 when suspicious behaviour is occurring. Call 911 if someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress. To report incidents/concerns, contact APS at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
If you feel threatened or see something suspicious, please make the call to APS right away. There is little is to be done hours or days after the event, and nothing can be done if it isn’t reported. If your report to APS is not responded to within a reasonable timeframe, please contact the Administration office at 705-753-2050 and we will follow up.
We are mindful that there are people in our community who are suffering from mental health and addiction issues. We need to support people, not marginalize them.
We are supporting every effort of Giyak Moseng (The Right Path) Counselling Services to help people who want to be well. We are also embracing the 4 pillars strategy to address drug addiction in our approach to these issues: 1) Harm Reduction 2) Prevention 3) Treatment 4) Enforcement
That said, we will not tolerate anti-social behaviours that harm or lack consideration for the well-being of our community members and disrupt their quality of life.
Actions Being Taken
- If a person is not Debendaagzid – a registered member from NFN – and are doing illegal things, we will make every effort to permanently ban them from NFN.
- Individuals who have been issued trespass notices are being actively pursued by police. On July 2nd alone, one person was charged with trespassing under the NFN land code, a second person received a trespass notice and a third was fined for trespassing.
- We are pursuing prosecutions under the Land Code and Indian Act for trespassing but again, it needs to be reported to police when people who have been issued these notices are back in the community.
- Our Housing department is reaching out to renters in problem areas and action is being taken on a daily basis. Renters are reminded about their obligations to keep out people who are not welcome on NFN and to keep the apartments clean and orderly.
- We are willing to work with renters, but everyone needs to be accountable for their actions.
- If people are dealing drugs or opening their band owned apartment to allow illegal activities, then NFN will proceed with progressive responses including evictions when all else fails.
- We have pressed APS for more resources and action on anti-social and illegal activities locally and at headquarters.
- We have been very active in dealing with issues with the APS Chief Marc Lesage, and other APS senior staff as well as the local detachment.
- We are developing a residency law and landlord/tenant law to enhance protections for membership.
- We are working on a Community Outreach Program that will see a team of professionals deployed to work with members to take a more proactive role on these issues.
Protecting the safety and quality of life of our community members is our top priority. These measures will help address the anti-social behaviours and criminal activities that are putting our members at risk and preventing them from enjoying their homes and neighbourhoods.
We plan to hold an online forum for community members to share their concerns with our leadership, and to work together towards developing a plan to address these issues. Details of this online meeting will be posted on our website (nfn.ca) and on our official Facebook page (Nipissing First Nation Administration) as soon as they are confirmed.
We remind you that we have resources in place if you need support with mental health or addictions issues. The Right Path Counselling Services can be reached by calling 705-753-1375.
Again, we need community members to do their part by reporting suspicious behaviour when it is occurring. Call 911, APS at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). You can also anonymously provide information through the Crime Stoppers website at: https://www.nearnorthcrimestoppers.com/.
If you have any questions or require more information about these measures, please contact:
Dwayne Nashkawa, Chief Executive Officer
Nipissing First Nation