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For immediate release – April 30, 2008
Samson Cree Nation (Alberta) B Samson Cree Nation Chief and Council announced today that it has amended its Curfew Bylaw. The 10:00 p.m. curfew applies to youth from 12 to 17 years of age and has been put into place by the Samson Cree Nation as an additional tool to aid in fighting crime.On behalf of the Samson Council, Chief Marvin Yellowbird stated “I have heard from the Samson membership including many parents that the curfew will help to protect young people and we have been urged to amend our Curfew Bylaw and have it enforced. We are very concerned about an increase in violence in our community and we are determined to implement a number of concrete measures deemed appropriate and necessary including a curfew to protect our members and reduce crime.”
Over the past two weeks Samson Cree Nation members have seen an increase in activity and patrols by the RCMP throughout the Reserve. Samson Chief and Council has recently established the Samson Safe Community Task Force made up of a variety of community representatives to examine, analyze and make formal recommendations on ways to reduce violence and address the underlying reasons for same.
Inspector Don Ladouceur of the Hobbema Detachment stated: “The Hobbema RCMP detachment will continue working in a partnership approach with the Samson Cree Nation and its leadership to enforce the Samson Curfew Bylaw. The detachment officers will continue to take appropriate action partnering with various community agencies targeting crime reduction in the Samson-Maskwachees Community.
Additional Information about Samson Curfew:
Does the curfew apply to non-Samson members?
Yes. The Bylaw applies to all persons between the ages of 12 to 17 who are within the Samson Cree Nation Reserve. This includes Samson residents as well as young people who reside elsewhere.
How will the Bylaw be enforced?
Anyone between 12 and 17 years of age who violates curfew (10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m.) will be held by the RCMP. In most cases, the juvenile will be taken to the RCMP Detachment Building. A parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult will be contacted to pick up the child immediately. Consultations will take place with adolescents and parents together with members of the RCMP about the violation.
What are the penalties for violating the Samson Curfew Bylaw?
After meeting with the Council or any other person appointed by Samson Council, an adolescent who is found to be in a public place during the prohibited hours, contrary to section 3 of the Samson curfew Bylaw, commits an offence. Every person who contravenes the Samson Bylaw is subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or 30 days in jail or both. In certain cases warnings will be issued.
It is important to point out that persons under 18 years of age are Exempt from curfew if they:
· Accompany a parent or guardian or other responsible adult over 21 years of age;
· Work or return home from a job, without detour or stop
· Attend on official school, religious, cultural, recreational or other activities sponsored by the Samson Cree Nation or recognized community organization, parental groups or other similar groups that take responsibility for the juvenile (this includes travelling to and from the activity).
What programs and services are available for young members?
Samson Cree Nation and the Maskwachees Community have a variety of recreation and education programs and services that serve young people. Additional programming specifically for youth is currently being examined. Counselling services are available for youth and families through Samson Social Services and other community organizations.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Samson Cree Nation
(780) 585-3793 (ext. 277)
(780) 362-2149 (cell)
abuffalo @ samsoncree.com (no spaces)
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