Norfolk Man Crusades For Reservations, Communities to Help End Meth Use
Posted: 27 August, 2015
By: Chris Whitney, News Channel Nebraska
NORFOLK - There’s a good chance you heard Robin Bair on Wednesday afternoon in Norfolk. But if you didn’t, his message is clear: methamphetamine use in all of society needs to be addressed and specifically on Indian reservations.
Fresh off a 700-mile journey that saw the Norfolk resident Bair, his wife, and children travel from Niobrara to Ponca City, OK along the Ponca Trail of Tears, Bair arrived in Norfolk earlier this week and took to the streets to speak of frustration with the abundance of methamphetamine and how it’s devastated families and communities. After a family member committed suicide three years ago, Bair has continued to fight against the use of methamphetamine by all peoples and says just this summer, methamphetamine had been used by a group of Oglala Sioux children before they committed suicide.
“They made pacts and they went and hung themselves. We asked for toxicology on all of these children. Out of 16 suicides, one of them wasn’t on methamphetamine, the rest were.”
Bair and his wife, Frances Zephier, had a chance to take part in the town hall meeting with Governor Pete Ricketts on Wednesday after starting in the Salvation Army Parking lot to spread their message. Bair says that message has resonated with lawmakers in South Dakota, he hopes the same will happen in Nebraska because Native American populations are suffering catastrophic effects.
“It’s because of what meth is doing to all of our society, but it’s affecting us the most because we only have five million people. Can you imagine what it’s doing to non-Indians?
While communities across the country struggle with methamphetamine’s effects, Bair adds it’s important for everyone to be proactive and take steps to eliminate the problem before it’s too late. Several people spoke with Bair and extended their support Wednesday, thanking him for his travels and the message him and his family are sharing.