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How northern Sask. communities plagued by high crime rates are trying to stifle the violence – CBC

Nov 08, 2023

Sask. north’s crime rate among worst in Canada

Horace Ratt drives along the gravel roads of Pelican Narrows, Sask., where hand waves and head nods take the place of traffic lights. The doors and windows of some homes are shuttered with plywood, either under construction or graffiti-marked and vandalized.

Ratt retired a 23-year veteran of the Prince Albert Police Service. He lives in Prince Albert, but has taken up the role of chief administrator for the reserve’s proposed community officer program.

He says he wants to be part of the solution to a problem that residents say is pervasive in the community — violence fuelled by drugs, alcohol and gangs.

“I still have family that lives here. They are impacted by the violence as well, so for me it’s like I want to do my part,” he said.

Pelican Narrows is both a northern village, about 415 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, and a reserve in the surrounding area. About 2,300 people live there, according to the most recent census, most in the reserve.

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