At Senate Hearing, Fort Peck Councilman Shares Testimony of Losing Loved One to Fentanyl
U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines spoke at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing about the fentanyl coming across the open southern border and harming Montana tribes.
Watch and download Daines’ opening remarks HERE.
“The ongoing fentanyl crisis is devastating. It’s destroying communities, families, and Montana’s tribal communities are ground zero for this destruction.
“The Montana State Crime Lab has reported a 1,000 percent increase in fentanyl-related overdoses since 2017, and Native Americans are suffering the highest overdose death rate by a massive margin—it’s not even close. In Montana, Native Americans are twice as likely to die of an overdose than any other Montanan. The Blackfeet Nation recently had to declare a state of emergency because of the staggering number of overdoses they are seeing. Fentanyl seizures at the border are up 800 percent since 2019, and the drugs that aren’t stopped are making their way to Montana. Here’s a staggering stat, Montana Highway Patrol, in the first half of 2023 seized enough fentanyl to kill 300,000 people. That’s nearly a third of our entire state.
“This is the human cost of the open border catastrophe that’s going on right now on our southern border. The crisis at the border isn’t a funding problem…Law enforcement solutions are needed to combat this problem, but the consequences of fentanyl use bleed into every part of our communities,” Daines said.
Daines also gave Fort Peck Councilman Bryce Kirk an opportunity to share how the fentanyl crisis has touched his life and asked what resources tribes need in order to better combat this drug crisis.
When Councilman Kirk asked a law enforcement agent what can be done curb the fentanyl crisis he responded, “shut the border down.”
Watch the exchange HERE.