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'I could feel him walking with us': Awareness walk in Regina remembers those lost to drug crisis

Community leaders renewed their push for awareness of Regina’s drug crisis at a walk in the north central neighbourhood on Friday.

“There’s a lasting impact rooted in historical trauma,” said Natasha Kennedy, Regina Treaty Status Indian Services (RTSIS) shelter case manager. “But it’s not just limited to the Indigenous community, it’s widespread.”

In August, the city marked a grim milestone.

Regina police statistics show 104 people have died of apparent overdose deaths in 2023, which is the fourth straight year more than 100 people have died of overdose.

“I’m actually not surprised by those numbers,” Kennedy responded.

One of them, 31-year-old Nehemiah Martin.

“He was a writer and a hair stylist. He was a good time,” his sister Holly described. “He wanted to do so much with his life but he got lost.”

“He had such a spirit and a heart of gold,” Holly said.

Nehemiah died on Sept. 9.

RTSIS has the goal to ensure no more names are added to the list.

“To create a safe and vibrant community, we need to be having these conversations,” Kennedy said. “When individuals are reaching out for supports, we need to have those resources readily available.”

On Friday, an awareness walk was held in Regina to remember those lost to the drug crisis. (Donovan Maess / CTV News)

At this rate, Regina is on pace to record more overdose deaths this year than ever.

“It’s troubling,” said RPS deputy chief Lorilee Davis. “The effects of grief and trauma on families and loved ones is so devastating.”

The walk was also an opportunity to educate the community.

On Friday, an awareness walk was held in Regina to remember those lost to the drug crisis. (Donovan Maess / CTV News)

Kennedy wants all people to be trained on how to administer naloxone to help those in crisis situations.

“If you’re not, you need to call out so we can support people potentially experiencing overdose,” she added.

For those participating, the walk was a chance to remember those taken too soon.

“It’s timely this happened today,” Holly said. “I could feel [Nehimiah] walking with us.” Top Stories

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