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ERIC Number: EJ720897
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Young Once, Indian Forever: Youth Gangs in Indian Country
Bell, James; Lim, Nicole
American Indian Quarterly, v29 n3-4 p626-650 Sum-Fall 2005
Not unlike mainstream society of the United States, Indian Country faces new challenges regarding the values, mores, and behavior of its young people. Since their first encounters with European explorers, American Indians have fought to preserve their culture and traditions. Federal policies that addressed the "Indian problem" by establishing reservations and BIA boarding schools, as well as through the implementation of assimilation, termination, and relocation programs, are but a few illustrations of a long history of institutional efforts to colonize American Indian culture and identity. Centuries of these violent efforts have slowly eroded the foundations of Native traditions and have manifested themselves in the drug and alcohol abuse, social isolation, family violence, and negative economic opportunity that plague many American Indian communities. In this context, Indian Country is fertile ground for the proliferation of youth gangs, for many young Indians have come to believe that traditional values are irrelevant to their lives. In this article, the author discusses the circumstances that can lead to the proliferation of youth gangs, the characteristics of gangs, and methods that can be used to prevent or curtail youth involvement in gangs. A case study of gang development in Los Angeles is also presented. (Contains 19 endnotes.)
University of Nebraska Press, 1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630. Tel: 800-755-1105; Fax: 800-526-2617; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States