|John Tootoosis. Image source|
|Joseph Dreaver (2nd from right), c. 1944. Image source|
|Tommy Douglas, 1945. Image source|
|Senator John B. Tootosis and David Ahenakew, c. 1975. Image source|
By the end of the 1970s, alcohol abuse was one of the biggest problems facing the First Nations peoples of Saskatchewan. CLICK HERE to read more. In 1978, Jim Sinclair, president of the Association of Metis and non-status Indians of Saskatchewan, stated that almost half of the natives in the province were “sick with booze,” and had severe alcohol problems. CLICK HERE to read “Alcohol Treatment Urged for Natives,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, July 20, 1978, p. 28. Things were so bad that Senator John Tootoosis, chairman of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians' senate, stated in 1981 that he felt the reason the Canadian government had permitted Indians to drink in bars and buy alcohol was to allow them to kill themselves off. CLICK HERE to read "Fight for Rights, Indians Told," Regina Leader-Post, November 24, 1981, p. 4.