Aboriginal Gangs Essay

1916 Words 8 Pages
Aboriginal gangs are a phenomenon sweeping across Canadian communities, most notably in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Aboriginal gangs have arisen due to a multitude of reasons, such as welfare, high rates of socio-economic disadvantage, Intergenerational dysfunction in families, and discrimination.

It is important to note, Aboriginal Canadians are those who have been approved under the Treaty Indian status, been registered under the Indian Act of Canada, or those who have membership in a First Nation band (Stats Canada 2013.) These Aboriginal Canadians are part of separate groups known as Inuit, Métis or First Nations bands; each of these groups are vastly unique with separate cultures, customs, and languages. In Canada all remaining
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There are currently two distinct models used to profile gang(s) (gang member); profile one: a large, predominantly male, visible, violent, profit-driven group involved in a variety of illegal activity; profile two: low level street gang, predominantly male, often only using turf for low level drug trafficking, and not affiliated with larger organized crime (e.g: Hell’s Angels) Totten, M. (2008). Both profiles are accurate representations of the counter culture lifestyle many Aboriginal males in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are living daily. The research conducted in the Canadian Police Survey on Youth Gangs Chettleburgh (2003) further outlines the profile of an Aboriginal gang(s) (gang member) as the following: committing crimes together, hanging out together, having a leader, displaying common colours, claiming territory, and sharing a group name. (P.22, 23). Furthermore of central concern issue; gang life appears to specifically attract young male offenders; with almost all members being male, and almost half aged 17 years old or younger Totten, M. …show more content…
At this time despite making up only a small portion of the total population; present day statistics show that Aboriginal Canadians, specifically the First Nations of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta are more likely to become involved in gangs. Evidence in support of this position, can be found in the recent unsettling figures provided by The Canadian Police Survey on Youth Gangs (as cited in Preston, Jane P, BEd,M.Ed, P.Hd, Carr-Stewart, S., & Bruno, C. (2012) which estimates 96% of the gangs in Saskatchewan are Aboriginal, and 58% of gangs in both Alberta and Manitoba are also Aboriginal. (P. 195). These statistics substantiate the fact First Nations young people in Canada are more likely to become involved in gangs. These high percentages also read as jarring facts, and bring to light there are clearly a multitude of factors and circumstances that are bringing so many Aboriginal Canadians into a gang centered lifestyle. Subsequently rises in gang membership has helped widen the gap for over representation, as Aboriginals continue to be the most represented and incarcerated ethnic group in the Canadian criminal justice

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