Anti-gang initiatives have been in the news lately. With the month of April anti-gang programs are being dropped by the Federal government, some people and politicians are showing concern. "It costs less to stop kids from joining gangs than putting them in jail". Jail is an awful thing for the young people, Aboriginal kids. Death is also an awful thing for our kids.
Our kids are dying. Maybe not right away, but the life for Aboriginal people is a tough one. Going into gangs might be a way for some kids to try and make money. Gangs is not about alternative families. If someone tells you that, punch them right in the face. That is pure bullshit. Gang lifestyle is all about being lazy. A lazy way to make a living. Think about it. They make money by visiting, talking with other people. Lot of them sit at home and the buyers come to their house. No having to be on time for anything. No deadlines to meet. No obligations. Except for owing the supplier. Even then sellers mess up. Can't even make that one obligation. Gang lifestyle, drug dealing life is the easy lazy way out. However, it steals life. Drug dealers and gangsters are directly responsible for loss of life.
So why do Gangsters get rewarded by the public? If you quit the gangs, or pretend to quit the gangs you are rewarded. Paid for doing anti-stuff? In many cases the anti=gang message is pure bullshit. Exaggerated stories of big money and fun in the gangs. Are these the same gang members that stay in public housing complexes? Drive stolen bikes because they can't afford a vehicle or license? The same gang members that stand around the outside of skid bars? Are these the same gang members crying for their women to wait for them to call from jail? Wanting their girl friends to bring the babies over to the remand centre so they can look out the windows? Make their girl friends do time with them, making them stay home while they are in jail? Yeah the good life for sure.
I think that the Native communities should try new things. Try to encourage good behaviour before they need to reward the bad guys/girls.
Let's face it.Aboriginal people face hardships. The hardships manifested in the lifestyle of our kids, our selves, our community and our politicians. If this were not true, wouldn't we be in a better social, economic, spiritual, healthier, and political environment? Wouldn't our kids be finishing school? Not joining gangs? You want to know the reflection of our community, start at home. Of course we have exceptions, that is true in all of society. Largely our community(s) is suffering. How do we fix it?How do we fix it?
That is where the dialogue starts.
There are training programs and funding for Aboriginal people. I think instead of continuing with the same old lifeskills programs that are band-aid solutions, maybe the community should do something more drastic.
I know that it may not be a solution, but it might be an different try for a short-term.
But maybe good behaviour or trying could be rewarded. The Reserve could give cash incentives to kids that are successful in joining the army or the police service or some other career organization. A place that takes the youth out of the environment and gives them a new look at things.
Giving a cash reward of ten thousand to a kid who has successfully been accepted in the police or army. These two entities teach new skills. Like discipline, team work, obligations, commitment and it goes on. Pride in accomplishment will just come with that as well.
could be for some.
Tommy Prince, decorated warrior.
A reflection in pride, heritage and an alternative to the "life".