July 12th, 2024

 Sage Clan looks to help move drug activity out of Galt Gardens


By Herald on May 28, 2021.

Sage Clan members Gary Brave Rock, Jasmine Cachene, Alvin Mills (of the Kindness to Others Centre), Josh Cummins and Eric Eagle Child stand in front of a teepee emblazoned with the Sage Clan emblem Friday in Galt Gardens. Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski

Tim Kalinowski – Lethbridge Herald

The Sage Clan, in partnership with the Kindness to Others Renewal and Healing Centre and Blackfoot Lodge, is seeking to get those using drugs and alcohol in Galt Gardens to take these activities elsewhere.

“The atmosphere is not good in that it causes problems between people,” says Sage Clan founder Mark Brave Rock. “These are my people. These are my loved ones using the park not in the right way it is meant to be.

“We are bringing back values to our people to respect land,” he adds. “This is land. This is space designated for families and children. This is not a place to be used for illegal activities, for drinking, for drugging, or dealing and selling drugs.”

The Sage Clan has set up a teepee in Galt Gardens for three days to draw awareness to the issue and will have an Elder on hand to conduct pipe ceremonies to seek harmony and agreement on these matters. The Sage Clan is also handing out literature to gently encourage and admonish those currently using in the park to stop doing so.

“We believe in our people so much that they will listen,” he says. “We as Indigenous are taking a step that is an example. We need to heal ourselves, and we have to spearhead it ourselves.

“Of course, we need the help of the city of people,” he adds. “However, our message comes across more clear, more true, more accepted, more trusted, when it comes from our words. Many of us have lived the (addict’s) life, and maybe we have lived experience; so we share that.”

Brave Rock says those living on the streets know and trust members of the Sage Clan because of their advocacy work over the past two and half years, and he feels if the message to keep drugs and alcohol out of the park is coming from his members the homeless community will listen and will, at least, consider carefully what they are asking.

“The park needs to change,” he says. “It’s an eyesore, and it reflects poorly on our people.”

Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

Share this story:

11
-10
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dennis Bremner

It is a great plan and should be applauded. The problem with all “Great Plans” is if you are asking them to leave, you must give them options as to where to go! So the real question is, “what neighborhood are you recommending as their next nesting spot? Some “other park” or some other part of the city perhaps? You must have forgotten to include that in your narrative, so what is the “plan”?

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Citi Zen

Exactly right, Dennis. This is just all about moving a problem from one location to another, perhaps to your neighborhood or mine. Seems the proper location would be on the reserve.
Yes, so what’s the plan? Or is there one??

Seth Anthony

Exactly.

How the heck can it be, that by far the most important question that needs to be answered, wasn’t asked by the interviewer?

One surprising statement from the representative was, “We need to heal ourselves”. Out of the hundreds and letters and statements that I’ve read from Indigenous people on the matter, almost all of them simply blame white people for their extraordinarily high addiction rate. So, it’s refreshing that this time, it’s being advocated that they take responsibility for their actions.

Granted, generational trauma is indeed a thing, but it is not a thing that is exclusive to Indigenous people, nor is it a thing that can’t be fixed. Trauma has occurred, and continues to occur to millions of people every day. Most rise above and don’t turn to escapism, yet this is not the case with Indigenous people. For some reason, they insist on dwelling on the past, which creates trauma and said addictions.

It all comes down to how one deals with trauma. When they teach their kids that whitey caused all their problems, then they’re teaching kids hatred, anger, and shame. All of those negative emotions are major influences toward addiction. They need to completely rethink what they teach their kids.

Last edited 3 years ago by Seth Anthony
Dennis Bremner

It appears that the LethbridgeHerald decided it was not important as to where the Sage Clan wanted to relocate the Galt Garden “Residents” Calgary CTVNews and others appear to have included what was left out by the Herald?
I quote “The hope is to get many of the Indigenous homeless population off the streets and bring them back home to get help.”

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/it-s-time-for-change-at-galt-gardens-sage-clan-looks-to-push-drug-use-out-of-downtown-park-1.5448456

I applaud their efforts, this has been a long time coming and I have no idea why it took this long for the Blood/Kanai that whitey was in it for the churn of a failed system. Thats not to slur the volunteers/employees or the people that unknowingly get caught up in these Non Profit Con Jobs.
Most operate with a good heart is it just a few that use the Non Profit for personal wealth and benefit. Those few kill the purpose faster then the addict kills themselves. This is not a shot at our old SCS, its a shot at non-profits around the world that involve themselves with Addicts for a different purpose. The Medical Society being the foster child of a failed system, a failed system that is continued because there is just toooo much money in it for those with vested interest in seeing it survive.
Blood/Kanai stepping up changes that dynamic and perhaps some of these addicts will now have a chance at rehab!

Last edited 3 years ago by Dennis Bremner
ewingbt

I applaud this and wish the Sage Clan success! The problem is not just the Galt Gardens, it has been allowed to spread trhough out Lethbridge. It has become known in Western Canada!
The Blood Tribe is stating in the media that they have lost over 90 young members in the past year due to opioids . . . that was not all on the reserve I am guessing, but across province or Western Canada! Too many of their young were lost and I witnessed some of them slowly become slowly emaciated before dying on our streets, mostly due to the culture of the SCS and promoting drugs by giving addicts everything they needed to continue their addictions.
They were clothed and fed by donations of Lethbridge citizens, no shortages of food of clothing. They didn’t even have to go to the Soup Kitchen to eat, because several groups in this city would wonder the streets with food and drink to hand out to them. This made things worse, almost like ‘home delivery’ . . . then when they got their cheques, whether AISH or Alberta Social Services, they could spent it all on drugs and alcohol.
I believe we made the problem worse . . . even though I applaud the kindness and compassion of the people going out during the day and night to hand out food/supplies, it allowed the people to just stay in the park or other areas they hung out at!
We can do better and I applaud the Sage Clan! I am concerned because there are non-FN/non-Metis also on the streets, although the highest percentage are aboriginal.
I hate to keep flogging the dead horse, but just imagine where we could be right now if in 2016 we decided to put the over $20 million we blew on the SCS . . .enticing and enabling addicts and put that money and all the extra millions we have burned up with extra programs to counter the impacts, into effective addiction and mental health programs, and programs to help get these people back into the workforce.
The City of Lethbridge alone must be spending at least $7 million annually on extra policing, the Watch, EMS response, the Safe Community Call Center that is responsible for cleaning up all mess and encampments, D.O.T., etc, not including the provincial and federal governments!
We were sold a bad batch of goods on harm reduction, which has never been successful in North America, where we have completely different societal issues than in the EU. All the pillars were never put in place because the high cost of enabling addicts, and all of the social services put in place took most of the funding . . . it back fired and instead, we see many more dying!
The Vancouver DTES is the best example of how it has failed! Now they want to legalize the very drug that got them in the mess over 17 years ago! They have tried their harm reduction programs for 18 years, and the number of fatal overdoses have continued to rise!
I believe the Sage Clan have a great idea . . . lets see how it is executed!
I do wish them well and my prayers will be with them and for them! Too many people end up on the streets and die within a couple of years or less, but thankfully those numbers are much lower in 2021, since we closed the SCS.

Young Man

215 Kamloops unmarked mass graves – I am a USA Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) boarding school survivor, called residential schools here in Canada. Indians in the US have yet to see anything like ground-penetrating radar in that country.
My wife says her mother went to residential school near Delmas, Saskatchwan. There are mass graves at the site of that school campus – which has returned to weeds, nobody but First Nations know or seems to care. Maybe something will be done to return the remains of an unknown number of children there to their families. That is an added tragedy. Perhaps Canada will learn to care and take the necessary steps to make restitution. You can begin by establishing a Royal Commision to find the mass graves and remains of every unmarked grave at every former and current residential school campus in Canada. Kamloops and other residential school we know about today are just the tip of the iceberg.
Do Canadians care? Seems not. Not a single word in the Herald about the memorial at Galt Gardens yesterday although television carried similar stories demoted to the level of mere human interest. A priest in Rome flatly denied the fact and refused to apologize or admit guilt – to this – genocide. And to think Indian men and women fought in WWII to protect corrupt “Christians” like this from Nazis? I presume that the Catholic and other denominations assumed that they’d arise from the dead on Judgement Day to be greeted by the Indian children they buried in unmarked graves. How depraved is that?
In a sign of the times, part of the agenda at yesterday’s memorial organized by the Sage Clan, (thank you by the way) had First Nations girls sing Amazing Grace using a drum and partially translated into the Kainiawa language. (Yes, it is a language; let’s not mince words and meanings.) It was remarkably odd and very sad to have to listen to them sing the destroyers heavenly song to the deaths of so many Indian child innocents. Canada, you should have been there. Do you care? Prove it!

215 mass graves Kamloops

Last edited 3 years ago by Young Man