Mothers taking a stand against drugs in Oneida Nation
ONEIDA NATION OF THE THAMES, ONT. -- A group of women called Yukwanulha Yukwanikoliyo (good mothers with good minds) marched in solidarity against what they call an urgent drug crisis within the Oneida Nation community.
The group was formed after events that transpired following an OPP raid on several cannabis stores on the outskirts of Oneida Nation of the Thames.
“Seven men entered our political office and demanded our Indigenous families that work in there, that were the chief and councillors, were demanded to leave the political office but not in a good way,” said march organizer Kahwani Doxtator.
She added that the chief and several councillors were assaulted during the occupation that lasted several days. prompting the women to take action.
“Us women gathered inside the community centre and discussed all the issues happening within our community,” Doxtator says. "It’s been going on for a long time, and we’re now just bringing attention to it because they went too far.”
The group was formed and is planning a larger role within the community - making decisions on several issues and creating a seal that will indicate they have approved any decisions made for the community.
“And once the women of the community make a decision, we put that decision down on paper with a seal on it.”
One of the most dire situations according the Yukwanulha Yukwanikoliyo is drugs, and protecting the community’s youth, which is why the solidarity march was planned.
“[To] bring attention to the drug crisis in our community, and make the drug dealers aware, that we’re here, and we’re working towards ending the sale of drugs within our community.”