Bishop Tribe Faces Alcohol/ Drug Problems

With two murder cases in fewer than six months on the Bishop Indian reservation, tribal members and officials have expressed concerns. Tribal Chairman Bill Vega has now written a letter to members and scheduled a community meeting.


Scene of Thanksgiving Murder on Bishop Indian Reservation

Vega’s letter to Bishop Paiute Tribal members says that the death of a member over Thanksgiving was the “second alcohol-related, violent death on our reservation and within our community in the past six months. These losses,” wrote Vega, “have caused us to look at some alternatives for addressing drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence in our community.”

Vega continued that according to recent studies, members of Native American communities who are victims of violence report that more than 70% were hurt by a person who was under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs.

Chairman Vega says the Tribal Council will look at violence in the community “with a focus as never before and we want to hear from our members.” Vega said that officials will set up what they call a Community Talking Circle to gather input from tribal members. The Talking Circle will take place Wednesday, January 13th at the new Community Center at 405 N. Barlow. The goal – how to make a better and safer community.

Vega points out that in the meantime, the Tribe does have social programs available. Call the Tribal Office for more information at 760-873-3584.

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