The provincial government announcing new funding for the Blood Tribe to support addictions treatment and the local police service.

The UCP says up to $2.2-million per year over the next three years will be used to expand the Kottakinoona Awaahkapiiyaawa (Bringing the Spirit Home) safe withdrawal management site from six beds to 24 beds.

CEO Kevin Cowan says “Bringing the Spirit Home is run by our community and designed for our community.” He says “the increased funding will first and foremost allow us to save lives and help more people in our community struggling with drug addiction.”

More than 150 people are currently on a wait-list to access the site.

Provincial funding for the Blood Tribe Police Service is also increasing by $480,000 which will go toward hiring five additional officers.

Blood Tribe Police Chief Kyle Melting Tallow says the service has been anticipating these five new positions since they were identified by the Blood Tribe, Public Safety Canada and the Province of Alberta in July 2019. He says these positions “will certainly add to the safety and security of the Blood Tribe.”

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan were both in Standoff Tuesday morning for the announcement.