Desistance from Canadian Aboriginal gangs on the Prairies: a narrative description
The violence, crime and hardships associated with Aboriginal gangs are an ever-growing concern on the Canadian Prairies. Saskatchewan has a large number of young individuals engaged in gang life who are struggling to find their way out. The current literature base on gangs emphasizes risk factors and gang prevention. In comparison, there is a dearth in the literature regarding desistance (leaving and abstaining) from gang life. Utilizing narrative inquiry, a qualitative methodology, a single unique participant was interviewed to examine the issue of how individuals are able to successfully desist from gang life. The key informant was both an Aboriginal spiritual advisor and expert on gangs in the Canadian Prairies. Through thematic narrative analysis, this study provides a narrative depiction of a life that is strongly connected to gangs and presents a number of themes related to desistance from gang life. Thematic narrative analysis of the interview revealed a series of themes including process elements, factors that facilitate desistance and factors that are barriers to desistance.
Aboriginal Gangs, narrative, desistance
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Educational Psychology and Special Education
School and Counselling Psychology