I had the opportunity to interview the SCN Council members Vernon Saddleback and Mario Swampy about the Drug Testing for SCN Leadership, that was conducted in Edmonton on March 9th, 2016. The news of the drug testing went viral on the internet, because it’s a huge step in a positive way. I put my first question forward
Q: “How did the drug testing come about?”
Councillor Vernon Saddleback: This is not a new concept, we did drug testing last term, for most chief and council under the term 2011-2014. A drug tester came to the office and we did drug testing that way, and most participated and everyone passed last term.. It began from the discussion of drugs in our community and what we could do about the drug industry in our community, because it does have a profound effect on a lot of our people. so the discussion lead to agreeing on drug testing and leading from the top down & leading by example.
When I put the same question to Mario, his reply was;
Councillor Mario Swampy: At the Leadership level, if we really want to make a stance, let’s set an example as leaders, let’s do drug testing, and let our nation members know that”.
They both agreed that the drug testing last month, came from a Chief and Council Motion passed on March 7, 2016 and the spontaneous and unscheduled drug testing followed two days later. In every community the discussion of drugs and its effects on the community is always under discussion, and what the community is willing to do about the issue, to make a better community, just as our Chief and Council did on March 7th.
Q: My next question was “will this drug testing be on-going?”
Councillor Vernon Saddleback: The next discussions are do we put it in the Election law?…that discussion needs to always be on the table, so the research will be on-going”.
Councillor Mario Swampy: we wanted to lead by example, so our administration can follow suit. it’s about empowering our administration so we can address this issue collectively, with support for the top. It will not solve all our problems, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now Administration can begin to implement the testing moving forward.
Also, to support and unify the nation, there were a handful of SCN Employees that followed suit and voluntarily received drug testing, and all the voluntary employees passed. The results of the Drug Testing will be announced in the near future and released to nation members, kudos to the Chief and Council for encouraging a positive and healthy lifestyle, and showing the importance of leading “By Example” in a positive way.