A northern Manitoba First Nation has banned alcohol, days after three children died when they were hit by an allegedly drunk driver.
Chief and council of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation in Nelson House, Man., made the ban effective Tuesday.
A public announcement from leadership said the ban is out of respect for the three boys who died.
“During this time, there will be no public intoxication tolerated,” the announcement reads.
The community’s safety officers will enforce the ban with checkstops and will seize all alcohol for destruction, the public announcement said.
Keithan Lobster, 11, Mattheo Moore-Spence, 11, and Terrence Spence, 13, were walking and riding their bikes with friends along a main road in the community, about 660 kilometres north of Winnipeg, when they were hit and killed by a driver who was allegedly impaired.
Nisichawayasihk Chief Marcel Moody said the ban is temporary and was requested by leaders at a meeting on Sunday.
“Out of respect for the families, we want to create some peace and harmony in our community and we don’t want alcohol to take away from what’s happening in the community,” he said.
Community leadership will also look at ways to increase awareness about the dangers of impaired driving, Moody said.
“Hopefully we learn from this lesson, and I hope it never happens again, to anybody,” he said. “It’s so devastating and this accident could have been prevented.”
Previous conviction for impaired driving
Todd Norman Linklater, who is is also a resident of the small community, is facing a total of nine charges in connection with the crash, including three counts of impaired driving causing death.
Linklater, 27, was previously convicted for impaired driving in January 2009, according to records provided to CBC News by Manitoba Justice.
Linklater was scheduled to appear in court in Thompson on Monday, said RCMP. None of the new charges have been proven in court.
His mother, Valdine Linklater, told The Canadian Press her heart and soul are broken.