WINNIPEG, Manitoba - A proposed alcohol ban on Canadian Indian reservations is receiving a tepid response from leaders who question its potential effectiveness.
The debate comes after it was revealed that a Saskatchewan reservation where two children died this week had tried to prohibit alcohol a year earlier.
Two girls froze to death in the snow on the Yellow Quill First Nation after their father had been hospitalized after reportedly a daylong bender. The man was walking with his daughters but passed out. He was found and taken to a hospital but it was several hours before he mentioned he had been with the girls.
Nevertheless, tribal leaders told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that alcohol had been banned from reservations until the 1950s, which only meant that moonshining and bootlegging became thriving businesses. There were also doubts expressed Friday about having enough reservation police to enforce a new prohibition.
Ron Evans, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, told the CBC, "For those that are addicted, they find ways to feed their addiction."
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