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Behchokǫ̀ bans consumption and sale of alcohol over Christmas

A painted sign welcomes people to Behchokǫ̀. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Behchokǫ̀ has banned the drinking, sale or transport of liquor within the community’s boundaries from December 23, 2022 until January 1, 2023.

In a notice posted to its social channels, the Tłı̨chǫ Government said alcohol would be banned “due to public safety concerns caused by a significant increase in alcohol abuse and related unlawful activity.”

Communities who want to issue this kind of ban have to apply to the NWT government for what is known as a temporary prohibition order.

A copy of the order on the territorial government’s website states that Behchokǫ̀’s community government council had made the request after “numerous recent reports of alcohol abuse” and related crime.



The order bars consumption, purchase, sale or transportation of liquor within the boundaries of the communities that collectively make up Behchokǫ̀: Rae, Edzo and the Frank Channel.

According to the territorial government’s website, Behchokǫ̀ is the only NWT community operating such an order this Christmas. At least one resident sharing the notice published by the Tłı̨chǫ Government on Wednesday questioned how the order would be enforced.

In November, Tuktoyaktuk said it would use a two-week alcohol ban to calm what the mayor described as a “free-for-all” related to alcohol abuse in the community.