RAPID CITY – During the Rapid City Council’s working session on March 10, Darla Drew provided an update on Camp Mni Luzahan which included the Camp’s organizers transitioning to an alcohol-free area.
Drew, being part of the City and County’s detox board, said that the organizers of Camp Mni Luzahan approached the administration at the Care Campus and Crisis Center for help on the transition.
“This was a project by educated, probably a generation younger than me, American Indians that really had the best interest of their relatives in their hearts,” said Drew. “And they found out, just like most of us in the police force and the fire department, any emergency systems dealing with the populations that showed up there whether they are drinking or on drugs, it is very difficult.”
Drew cited the organizers original plans to operate a ‘wet tent’ where alcohol would be permitted, but fights, and even people being pushed into fires, was the outcome.
Now, Drew said, whenever there is a problem involving substances at the camp, a bus transports the people from which the problem stemmed and takes them to Rapid City’s Care Campus for the evening. Drew also said that since this practice has begun, the numbers at the Care Campus have stayed relatively the same.
“It is on trust land, and there is not a lot we can do up there but they came, the folks that are in charge up there, came in to us and said ‘how can you help us’,” she said. “Which I think is a big step forward.”
(Contact Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org)