Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $997,351)
Gangs are a major issue in the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) Reservation. After the 2002 crack-cocaine bust that led to the arrest and conviction of more than 37 gang members from LCO, gang activity levels are on the rise again. Over half (54.9%) of children on the LCO reservation are raised in poverty (U.S. Census, 2017-2019), and a large population of youth are using weapons and experiencing behavioral problems in schools, each that have been proven to lead to gun and gang violence. LCO proposes to utilize resources from this initiative to combat gang activity within their tribal youth community. In coordination with a paid tribal staff member dedicated to this initiative, the following strategies will be employed:
The Lac Courte Oreilles Boys and Girls Club Against Gun and Gang Violence (BGCAV) Project 2021 will implement a prevention and intervention program for LCO youth to address the problematic behaviors that lead to gang and gun violence on the individual level.
LCO will support strong cultural mentorships and will expose youth to the familial ties between members to prevent youth behaviors that lead to gun and gang violence.
LCO will focus on building a strong tribal community for its youth to promote deep-rooted cultural beliefs on the respect of weapons, and how they are used in LCO’s hunting tradition. Particularly, the negative western culture that promotes wealth status and prize hunting, which has been proven to lead to violent behavior, will be instead focused on the tradition of respecting the balance of nature, using every piece of the animal, and by teaching that an offering to the animal will maintain that balance.