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Press Release - first Nation Deaths on Saskatchewan Roads

JOHN COCHRANE FIRST NATION

Sub Office – 304D, 1401- 28th St. E. , Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, S6V 6Z8, (306) 922-7998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SASKATCHEWAN CHIEF CALLS FOR A NATIONAL CONFERENCE TO DEAL WITH THE DRAMATIC INCREASE OF FIRST NATION DEATHS AND SERIOUS INJURIES ON CANADIAN HIGHWAYS

Every year too many First Nations people die needlessly on Saskatchewan highways. On Monday three First Nation youth lost their lives traveling on a Saskatchewan road and once again young lives have been tragically cut short as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

In the past three weeks alone, 5 First Nation youth and 1 native Elder have died while traveling on Saskatchewan roads. Another youth died in a roll over on Big River First Nation. The condition of our roads and highways cannot be over looked as a significant factor contributing to these deaths.

First Nation people who live off-reserve are contributing tax payers to the municipalities and provincial government. The federal and the provincial governments share the responsibility for road safety, design, construction, and maintenance.

Travel for First Nation people on reserve roads carries a much higher risk for accident and injury because of the unsafe conditions as a result of poor to none existent maintenance. These conditions also pose a hazard to all who choose to travel on these roads.

It is time for the federal and provincial governments to take a serious look at the deterioration of Saskatchewan roads and the increasing number of deaths related to road conditions.

The purpose of the National conference would be to mobilize First Nation communities and all levels of government to develop an action plan to reduce the dramatic increase of First Nations and Non-First Nations deaths and serious injuries on Canadian highways.

I can be reached by calling (306) 922-7998 or 960-1393.

Chief John Dorion