Hoopa tribe members protest against drug abuse involving young people

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HOOPA, Calif. (KIEM)- The Hoopa reservation has seen an increase in drug distribution, possession and overdose cases recently.

So, members of the Hoopa tribe and community leaders came together to protest drug abuse specifically within their youth population.

According to chairman of the Hoopa tribe, just this past year, two young people were lost due to overdose and the community felt that they had lost too many young people to drug abuse and decided that it was finally time to stand and act.

“We have to get the word out that it’s basically in a state of emergency now with the drug abuse,” said the Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Joe Davis. “We’re just going to do everything we can to prevent drug abuse, any more deaths and any more loss of life and dignity.”

For some that joined the protest, this subject hit a little closer to home.

“My family, personally, has lost two young people and um, in a five-month span,” said Celinda Gonzalez, a Hoopa Tribe member.

The protest began at the Hoopa Valley High School and they made their way up Highway 96 with posters and signs and ended the walk at the Coast Central Credit Union parking lot.

Many of the people that joined the protest say that there is a lot more work to be done…but they hope that this demonstration helps open people eyes to a very serious problem not within the Hoopa tribe but other tribes as well.

“It’s time for us to speak up,” said Gonzalez. “It’s time for the community, for the people and I hope that more reservations see this, and more reservations will start something just like this.”     

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