In the February 1, 2005 edition of Law Enforcement Technology, writer Liz Martinez investigates Gangs in Indian Country and offers the following insight:
Native Americans have some of the highest poverty and addiction rates in the United States and a rapidly increasing population, along with some of the highest rates of infant mortality and lowest educational levels. Because the reservations are in remote areas, the opportunities for jobs and industry are virtually non-existent.
Coupled with the fact that many young people have lost touch with or never known their native languages, customs or religious traditions and are exposed to the relentless commercialism of mainstream America–yet are without the wherewithal to achieve most of the commercial ideals–and the white-hot anger erupting among American Indian youth and manifesting itself in an explosion of gang involvement should surprise no one.
Gangs create bonds of belonging for those who feel outcast, lost and disconnected.
Helping to find ways to retie the disconnected to the positive moral core of society must become a paramount human mission reaching from suburban corral to urban core to rustic reservation.