Children, youth and other members of the Piapot First Nation celebrated the first anniversary of banning drugs and alcohol from their community.

Students and others marched in unity Friday at the Payepot School.

The prohibition originally was spearheaded by the youth, who requested chief and council to ban drugs and booze after a series of potentially harmful incidents.

Junior Chief Conner Sugar says action was taken after an intoxicated person attempted to enter the school, putting safety in jeopardy.

“We had a few incidents at the school. There was a person under the influence of drugs and alcohol that put in danger the students, teachers and community members,” said Sugar.

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron praised the students assembled for their efforts to abstain from drugs and alcohol. He encouraged them to continue to make positive choices in their lives.

Sugar says the initiative has been successful.

“So far, it has worked because we’ve not any major incidents or anything involving police,” Sugar explained. “We were told that we changed a lot of people’s minds. They too wanted to quit alcohol and drugs.”

(PHOTO: Students and community members march around the school. Photo by Dan Jones.)