As you all know from the novel (The absolutely true diary of a part time Indian) that there is much violence on Indian reservations which is sometimes very hard for the people who live there. Many Indians suffering from the Indian gangs but there are also people who love the gangs. They love them because they have no perspective. The most ones who believe in the gangs are teenagers. They have no money and their only hopes are the gangs. Their only chance to make money is to deal drugs, this does not make it better and many of these very young people have problems with the police because dealing drugs and gang fights are criminal and so, many of them go to jail or have to face other consequences.
But still they continue their gang life. You have to imagine that if you live in a reservation you cannot do anything. There is nothing, it is just wasteland so they are maybe even bored. But the main reason is that they have no money and also they want a job. Many Indians do not get one because there are no places of work and when there are some, there are not many. So you become a criminal, even the teenagers. But this does not mean that they want be criminal.
We found an example of a 15 years old boy. Here is his story:
Richard Wilson has been a pallbearer for at least five of his “homeboys” in the North Side Tre Tre Gangster Crips, a Sioux imitation of a notorious Denver gang. One 15-year-old member was mauled by rivals. A 17-year-old shot another gang member on a cocaine binge and firing wildly, was shot by the police. One died in a drunken car wreck, and another, a founder of the gang named Gaylord, was stabbed to death at 27.
So you see the live of an Indian people on a reservation is t not easy most of the time, not for the gangs and not for the families of their members. Because many of these members are shot or die in a fistfight and that’s only because someone names the other asshole or some other bad words. It is only a little thing and because of that they have to die. You can also see that the conditions in the reservations are very hard and brutal. The gangs have no mercy to you and if you will show your weakness you will be shot, you or your family, but not always will they shoot, they may hurt you or destroy your house. And the family of this member has to pay for that, for the mistakes of others. Someone must pay for that with his life. And the police don´t do anything against that, they only do something when it is too late. There is no support from the state or from the other people. They can die there and no one is interested in this horrible story and so there is a very big poverty, and that’s not only because they have no money, it´s because they have a frustrating live, they can´t do any job they want, because they have no school graduation and so they must deal drugs to earn money, so they get on a bad track because there is no way out. They all know their future and they all know, that there is no way to get a better future. Then they join those gangs because otherwise they would be a part of nothing and in a gang they can be a part of something. The young kids get involved when they are around 10-year-old children, they learn how to handle guns and to deal with drugs and weapons. So they do not know any other way of life. They seemm and feel adult with such skills.
The most gangs live in Arizona among the Navajo Tribe 1997. There are about 225 gangs. Those are so many that the gangs linked to each other so only about 75 remain. In some rare cases members of gangs reach a normal life but it is not easy.
Mr. Young Bear from Lakota found out that many members are psychologically damaged. He thinks about something that could help the people who want to get out of this bad live. So he has started a HEAD START program for free. HEAD START means that you first have to get your brain “clean” before you can actually get out of gang life. Mr. Young Bear does things like drumming, sun dances and chanting (it is kind of singing ).
Michael Little Boy Jr., 30, of the village of Evergreen, said he had initially been tempted by gang life, but with rituals and purifying he could save him: “I was able to turn myself around.” He is emerging as a tribal spiritual leader, working with youth groups to promote native traditions.
(written by: Lukas, Leonard, Kathrin, Katharina, Mariella)