Aboriginal gangs are proliferating across Canada as criminal organizations exploit the intense poverty and squalid conditions that many First Nations youth live in, says a top officer with the RCMP's aboriginal police division.
The gangs' stock-in-trade includes drug distribution, prostitution and theft, and they're only growing more sophisticated, said the RCMP.
"The gangs are brought on by poverty," said RCMP Sgt. Merle Carpenter, who holds the aboriginal gangs file with the National Aboriginal Policing Services.
"They intimidate by violence and these aboriginal youth are just wanting to belong to somebody."