Canada

Royalty checks linked to rise in drugs and crime on First Nation





Young members of the Samson Cree First Nation of Alberta are spending their royalty checks on drugs, leading to a rise in crime and gangs on the reserve, The Epoch Times reports.

Band members receive $40,000 when they turn 18. One youth, Christopher Crane, said he was intoxicated and high on drugs almost every day after he received his check.

A month later, in April 2008, he admitted that he shot inside a home on the reserve. The bullet struck Asia Saddleback, who was two years old at the time.

She survived and Crane, now 20, is serving a five-year prison sentence. But the violence has continued -- Ethan Yellowbird, the five-year-old grandson of Chief Marvin Yellowbird, was shot and killed in a drive-by in July and his aunt was killed earlier this month.

Band leaders are planning to evict residents who have been convicted of serious criminal offenses. They also want to revoke their royalty payments.

Get the Story:
Troubled Alberta Reserve Seeks to Evict Criminals (The Epoch Times 9/29)