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Friday, 28 December 2012

Youth Justice: Aboriginal Youth Insecurity and Gang Involvement

Youth Justice: Aboriginal Youth Insecurity and Gang Involvement

One of the issues that affect the aboriginal youth and force them into street life is insecurity. Some of the youth in the video cite this as the reason why they found themselves in the streets.  For instance, Julie says that she did not feel safe.  Her mother caused some of this feeling of insecurity. It therefore appears that instability in the family could be a cause of youths being in the streets.

Another reason we note in the video could be financial uncertainty. As seen through Colton, another young man who speaks in the video, work to him was “up and down” he could not find money to sustain himself in a home. This further led to his involvement in drugs, deepening his financial woes. It is therefore apparent that many aboriginal youths who are not in a stable job or who do not have a consistent source of livelihood may involve themselves in street life and drug abuse.

Finally, we can consider the gap between the rich and the poor as a factor that makes the youth get into street life. It has been noted that the gap between the rich and the poor in Canada is quite wide. Majority of the poor are the aboriginals and they could compare themselves with the rich natives. This comparison may lead to desperation among them and some of them may get into the streets.

 a)       One of the issues facing the Aboriginals in Regina includes a gang mentality. This seems to originate in the 1990 Oka land dispute, which pulled the aboriginals into groupings, which have become gangs and are now involved in crime.

Another problem facing the Aboriginals is creating a sense of belonging among them. One former member of a gang, named Kowalski says he joined the gang to be part of a brotherhood. Being part of brotherhood was to help him feel a sense of belonging in relation to his age mates. It is through this that he learnt of the negative consequences of the group and later decided to change to the right way.

A feeling of insecurity led to increase in gang involvement. Kowalski in his life felt that he could be secure in the gang. According to him, being part of the gang would guarantee him protection from harassment from members of the gang.

The issues facing aboriginal youths may be different from the issues facing non-aboriginal youths. For example, aboriginal youths are disadvantaged economically, socially and politically. The difference came in because of the colonization, which caused internalized oppression among the aboriginals.

b)       According to Corey Mathews, who is deeply involved in fighting gang involvement, youths must be involved in other activities that would help them see themselves successful like “modern day warriors” Such activities could include music and sports.


Minaker, Joanne & Bryan Hogeveen (2008). Youth, Crime, and Society: Issues of Power and Justice. Tolonto: Pearson.

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