More information on Lac du Flambeau banishments released Submitted: 08/18/2013
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Lac du Flambeau tribe released more information Sunday on the banishments they ordered earlier this week. The tribe says the 58 who were banished were involved in the Operation Pandora drug bust that happened earlier this summer. "The epidemic of drugs and alcohol and illegal activity on our reservation has led to a rash of deaths, and violence. When you talk about drugs and illegal activity and gang activity, you're talking about social ills that affect every citizen of this community," says Lac du Flambeau Tribe Public Relations Director Brandon Thoms.

Police started serving the orders Wednesday. Those banished had 48 hours to leave the reservation. Officials say banishment is a traditional punishment in the Ojibwe culture. The tribe declared a drug-related State of Emergency in April. We asked people around town about their thoughts on the banishments. No one wanted to speak on camera. But many said they were trying to figure out what was going on. They said some of those kicked out were tribal members. But the tribe insists the banished were not members. The tribe says anyone on the reservation involved in criminal activities, drugs or gangs, could be next. "If you are caught, and found to be in violation of our laws, you will be asked to leave," adds Thoms. Officials say there have been more than ten alcohol and drug-related deaths on the reservation in the last two years. Those banished aren't allowed to return for five years.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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