There is a lot of gang crime in Indian reservations within the USA, although this fact is seldom reported in the media. You know that the phenomenon is worrisome when you get to learn that there are as many as 39 gangs, with a combined membership of 5,000 gangsters, in the Pine Ridge reservation (alone). And this is not an isolated case: because going by the statements on the Wikipedia article about ‘Native Americans in the United States’, it emerges that there as many as 225 gangs in Navajo country. There was also the informal study by Lamar Associates, which showed that 76% of people who live or work in Indian reservations know of existence of gang activity in the respective reservations, and that more than 45% knew of violent gang activities in their reservations. Clearly, we are dealing with an epidemic, and the question that comes up is as to what can be done, to reduce gang crimes in the Indian reservations.
In my view, there are three main things that need to be done, if gang crimes in Indian reservations are to be reduced.
Firstly, if gang crimes in Indian reservations are to be reduced, it is necessary to improve policing in the reservations. Police authorities should find ways of working with the communities, rather than being adversaries to the communities.
Secondly, if gang crimes in Indian reservations are to be reduced, the existent gangs need to be infiltrated and broken. This has to be the beginning point: because if the gangs are left to fester, they will tend to proliferate: by recruiting more new members, breaking up into splinter groups, expanding their geographical territories… and so on.
Thirdly, if gang crimes in Indian reservations are to be reduced, better economic opportunities need to be provided for the youths growing in the reservations. Gone are the days when the government would just leave the people in the reservations on their own, to figure out ways of eking a (miserable) living out of the land. In today’s world, the government needs to be proactive in providing economic opportunities, and ensuring that no communities feel that they are being marginalized. In today’s world, the Indian American youth want to have smart-phones like everyone else. They want to have nice cars like everyone else. They want to be able to visit sites like Citicards.com and apply for credit or debit cards — like everyone else. They want to live in nice houses like everyone else… Thus, ways have to be found to mainstream them into the economy.