‘It’s time for change at Galt Gardens’: Sage clan looks to push drug use out of downtown park

LETHBRIDGE — Members of the Blood Tribe are spearheading an effort to clean up the Galt Gardens, one of the Lethbridge’s largest problem areas.

It’s a movement being brought forward by the Sage Clan, along with the Kindness to Others Renewal and Healing Centre and Blackfoot Lodge.

They’re seeking to get those using drugs and alcohol in the parks to do so elsewhere according to Sage Clan’s founder, Mark Brave Rock.

“It’s time for change at Galt Gardens,” Brave Rock said.

“It goes back to family, goes back to children, goes back to community. It’s not a place for illegal activity.”

In an effort to do so, they erected a teepee in the gardens on May 27th which was displayed for three days.

They have been handing out meals and literature while urging certain park goers to take their business elsewhere.

“It’s important that this block of land starts to be used properly,” Brave Rock told CTV.

“It’s an eye sore and it reflects a lot of what the community thinks of the Blackfoot people, which is not true.”

The hope is to get many of the Indigenous homeless population off the streets and bring them back home to get help.

Members of the Blood Tribe council were in attendance to use the support of their nation to get through to the people.

“I think it’s very important that we get through to our nation’s population that are here in town and give them the reassurance that we’re here,” said Clarence Black Water.

It’s not just the indigenous community they’re aiming to help though.

According to mayoral candidate and President of the Sweetgrass Youth Alliance, Sheldon Day Chief, their help is available to all who need it.

“It doesn’t matter who you, if you’re struggling in the streets, Sage program and Sweetgrass are there for you.”

This is the first of four outings the groups plan to make to the Galt Gardens this summer.

The teepee has since been taken down but Brave Rock, Black Water and Day Chief say they’ll be back again at the end of June for National Aboriginal Day to offer their help and support.

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