Health | Law | National

Saginaw Chippewa Tribe declares war against substance abuse

Chief Steve Pego displays the birch bark document declaring a war on substance abuse. Photo from Saginaw Chippewa Tribe

Citing an increase in drugs and crime, leaders of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan have declared war on substance abuse.

At a ceremony last week, Chief Steve Pego signed a birch bark document outlining the declaration. The move was historic -- the tribe said it hasn't declared war in that manner since 1763.

“I am proud of my tribe for standing up and fighting this war on drugs," Pego said in a press release during the Celebration of Healing, Recovery and Hope event. "We do not have to do this alone and am inviting everyone who has ever been affected by drugs to come and stand with us!”

Celebration of Hope, Recovery & Healing

Heroin abuse is on the rise on the reservation, Pego said. He said his own family has been affected.

Statewide, heroin deaths have increased dramatically in the last decade and admissions into heroin treatment programs have grown, The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun reported.

Get the Story:
Chief Steve Pego declares war on substance abuse on Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation (The Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun 10/1)

Join the Conversation