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Alter-Natives to Non-Violence Report: Aboriginal Youth Gangs Exploration–A Community Development Process.

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Bria
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 302-307.

The approach adopted by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Alter-Natives to Non-violence Initiative (hereafter called “the Initiative”) is rooted in the understanding that behaviors are the observable symptoms of feelings and emotions that are sometimes hidden from our view. The negative behaviors of youth have been assigned recognizable labels that receive prepackaged responses from systems and adults. The processes that were developed to respond to the labeled behaviors do not necessarily adress the underlying problems, which may be hidden within the lifes and experiences of youth. Presently, is our understanding that the police have adopted a system of labeling some Aboriginal youth as gang members. We are uncomfortable with this, because the process seems to be subjective, and the consequences are severe. At the same time, we understand the need to manage the larger, more formal adult gangs. (excerpt)


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