Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Extends Support for “No Thanks, I’m Good” Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Walk in Winnipeg

June 23, 2023

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) proudly supports and walks alongside the Fourre family. Joseph Fourre has been tirelessly advocating for increased awareness and action to address the fentanyl crisis in our province. In support of the Fourre family, the AMC invites everyone to attend an Awareness Walk, which will start at Oodena Circle at The Forks this Sunday, June 25th, at 12 PM with remarks by delegates when it concludes at the Legislative Building front steps. This gathering of families and supporters will serve as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and sharing ideas to effect positive change.

Joe’s son, Harlan, a bright and hardworking young man, fell victim to a tragic mistake when he unknowingly purchased ecstasy laced with fentanyl. This devastating incident highlights the urgent need for comprehensive measures to prevent further fentanyl-related deaths and protect our First Nations citizens, particularly our youth. Joseph Fourre, Harlan’s father, has been strongly advocating for change. He rightly expresses his anger at the lack of sufficient action by the province to address this crisis. Last year alone, there were over 367 fentanyl overdoses, with an alarming 40% involving individuals who had never tried fentanyl. This statistic underscores the pressing need for immediate intervention and a proactive approach.

In response to this tragedy, Joseph and his family have initiated the campaign “No Thanks, I’m Good” to reach out to our youth and emphasize the importance of making healthy choices. Addiction robs individuals of their ability to make informed decisions, and we must empower our youth to resist the dangers posed by illicit drugs. AMC stands with the Fourre family as they call upon Manitoba Justice to impose stricter penalties on drug dealers who distribute fentanyl and encourages them to take decisive action against those responsible for cutting drugs with fentanyl, thereby endangering countless lives.

“We need to end the stigma surrounding addiction,” said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “We must proactively address this crisis and provide our youth with the necessary guidance and support systems to make healthy choices. Through unity, understanding, and resilience, we will overcome the challenges posed by addiction. By encouraging open conversations and fostering a non-judgmental environment, we can create a society that supports and uplifts those struggling with substance abuse. It is incumbent upon all of us to denounce drug dealers and ensure the safety and well-being of our youth.”

There is an urgent need for more provincially funded treatment centers and the involvement of government ministers to address this crisis effectively. Our First Nations require culturally appropriate healing centers in urban areas and on reserves, where individuals can access treatment rooted in our cultural traditions. These centers will play a vital role in combating addiction and providing much-needed support for our people.

For more information, please contact:
Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.