Tag Archives: Crazy Indians Brotherhood

Indigenous Groups Take Stand Against Drug Dealing and Violence at Portage Place Mall

Police presence as Indigenous activists gathered at the back of Portage Place Mall. Photo: Red Power Media

Indigenous activists want to deter drug dealing at downtown mall

A group of Indigenous activists are making their presence known around Winnipeg’s Portage Place Mall to deter drug activity.

Members of the Urban Warrior Alliance and Crazy Indians Brotherhood have been congregating near the back entrance of the shopping Centre since mid-week.

The area in back of the mall is a well-known drug dealing site for pills and other narcotics.

Both groups have been occupying space where the drug dealers hang out and peacefully confronting those involved with the drug activity.

Activists say there is too much violence happening in and around the mall because of the drugs.

According to Vin Clarke, a member of the Urban Warrior Alliance “The women and the children don’t feel safe. The elders don’t feel safe walking through the back [of the mall] so we decided we’re going to shut all this down.”

Red Power Media was there when the groups first gathered on Thursday and spoke with organizers who said they planned to remain at the mall for the weekend. They are also planning a prayer walk on Sunday starting noon at the back of the shopping centre.

More than a dozen people rallied behind the mall on Saturday afternoon, some with drums, while warriors in camo waved Unity flags.

Denny Wood, an activist with the Alliance, said they are trying to send a message to drug dealers.

Wood told CBC News they have talked to dealers who try to sell pills like Tylenol 3 and Xanax. He said once activists have the pills in their hands they confiscate them. “We dump it right in front of them.”

Vivian Ketchum, a frequent shopper of the mall, found a drug baggie, a needle and a pill on the ground just steps outside of the back steps of the mall while a CBC camera was rolling.

The action by the groups started after an elder from the indigenous community had her cell phone stolen. The woman told Red Power Media she was recording an incident at the back entrance involving drug dealers with a gun when someone else took her phone to get rid of the evidence.

Tatty, who is with the Crazy Indians Brotherhood, said people have been robbed at gunpoint behind the Portage mall, including his aunt. She was robbed at gunpoint last week and had her purse taken.

“They wanted money to get more drugs,” he said.

Security for the Portage Place Shopping Centre refused to make a comment to Red Power Media about the allegations. The Winnipeg Police have so far also refused to make a statement about the activists presence at the mall.

In a video recorded by Red Power Media, members of the urban warrior alliance dump pills in a puddle and then crush them.

By Black Powder, RPM Staff

Saskatoon Brotherhood Provides Security, Belonging For Former Homeless Man

"I spent a few years living under the bridges." Crazy Indians Brotherhood member Justin Bird used to live homeless in Saskatoon. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

“I spent a few years living under the bridges.” Crazy Indians Brotherhood member Justin Bird used to live homeless in Saskatoon. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

CBC News

Home for Justin Bird was underneath some of Saskatoon’s bridges.

“I was homeless for a few years of my life,” said Bird. “I’ve lived under the bridges and stuff like that and I got into drugs real hard.”

It was his brother, Leonard Saddleback, that showed him a different way.

“He got me off the streets and ever since then I haven’t looked back,” Bird said.

Saddleback is a new member of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood, a local volunteer organization that gives back to the community. Members of the Brotherhood might look like gang members — they wear black leather vests — but their mission is to help people out.

Seeing his brother Leonard in the Brotherhood made him want to join.

“They’ve been doing great things,” said Bird.

The Brotherhood has provided Bird with a drastic role reversal. Now, he hands out sandwiches to homeless people.

“They look at you kind of weird if you walk up to them and ask them if they want a lunch,” he said.

Bird now works full time and has a family of his own. He also has younger kids looking up to him.

“I have younger cousins who have been asking about the Brotherhood and how they can be part of it,” he said.

Even though people need to be at least 18 years of age before they join the Brotherhood, Bird thinks its presence in the community will make a difference.

“The younger crowd here in Saskatoon needs more role models like us doing things like this and showing them the right way rather than the wrong way.”


Brotherhood Members Aim For Positive Change

Crazy Indians Brotherhood members Dallas Gamble (left) and Steven Fiddler (right).

Crazy Indians Brotherhood members Dallas Gamble (left) and Steven Fiddler (right).

By Nigel Maxwell | paNOW

The dark tattoos on Steven Fiddler’s neck and arms are symbols of the life that he left behind.

The president of the Prince Albert chapter of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood (CIB) made a decision last year that he wanted something better for himself and his family.

“I’ve got lots of kids, my oldest son is 16 so I don’t want him to see me in jail and in and out of jail all the time. You know I want him seeing me do something positive, so he goes on the right path and does something positive.” said Fiddler.

The turning point for Fiddler came two years ago when he received a sentence of 11 months house arrest.

“I couldn’t even go watch him (the son) play hockey. The hockey rink was two blocks away from my house where I lived in B.C. and I’m not even allowed to watch him play hockey all winter,” said Fiddler.  “My fiancée, too was done with the whole criminal and jail thing too, so making the step towards the Crazy Indians just helped my family.”

Dallas Gamble did plenty of research before joining the brotherhood, reading about the group’s activities in Winnipeg. Gamble said he liked what the group stood for, collecting food and clothing for the less fortunate.

“Making a positive name instead of a bad name going to jail, or getting into fights,” said Gamble.

Gamble said he was never a gang member, but he had the respect of people who were gang members. The brotherhood is the only group Gamble has ever joined.

One of the initiatives of the CIB is helping deter kids from joining gangs.

Fiddler said the gang lifestyle can become attractive to kids who come from having nothing.

“You know if a kid grew up without an Xbox or a Playstation, and he goes to his friend’s house and he sees all this well as he gets older if he sees selling drugs can get him that Xbox, well where is he going to go right.”

Fiddler said the goal of the group is to show these young kids that they have other options, and one of those options is through sports.

The brotherhood is hoping to host a ball hockey tournament this summer in Prince Albert, inviting kids from local First Nations to take part.  All of the proceeds from the event would go to helping kids play sports, who could not otherwise afford to.

Gamble said he appreciates when strangers approach him and shake his hand.  He said they want the public to know there is no reason to be afraid.

“We’re not out there bugging anyone, we’re just trying to do our own thing and helping out where we can,” he said.

Last week, the Prince Albert members hosted a barbecue outside YWCA’s Our House. Some members of the community criticized the event, saying it was a cover up for other activities.

“Some people were saying that all the food we got at Our House, that it was all donated to us and that we were selling support T-shirts, like support your Crazy Indians,” Fiddler said.

He said all the food and condiments at the barbecue were paid for by members of the brotherhood and the T-shirts, which came from Winnipeg, were handed out for free.

Fiddler said they also received some negative feedback for their choice of location for the barbecue, particularly that the group picked the most public spot possible.

He said they had approached City Hall several times about hosting the barbecue on the cement pad outside of City Hall but were turned down.  Our House was the only entity that agreed to let them host the barbecue.

“I was trying to get funding too from the government to go around and talk to youth, not just in Saskatchewan or P.A., but everywhere,” said Fiddler. “There are ups and down to everything but there are no ups going to jail.”

‘Crazy Indians Brotherhood’ dole kindness to Winnipeg’s homeless

Former gang members, men with troubled pasts reverse course, help homeless with food, clothes

Former gang members, men with troubled pasts reverse course, help homeless with food, clothes

CBC News

Winnipeg’s Crazy Indians Brotherhood took to the streets Tuesday to give out food and clothing to the city’s homeless.

The brotherhood was founded in 2004 as a support network for young men with criminal pasts, fresh out of gangs or just getting into trouble.​

“Everybody wakes up with a hungry stomach. Everybody goes to bed with a hungry stomach. We all know that, and we’re all just trying to give that back,” said Justin Brown, 29, a member of the brotherhood, which brings together men across Canada to help their communities.

Tyler McKinney, 20, found a send of belonging with the brotherhood. (CBC)

Tyler McKinney, 20, found a send of belonging with the brotherhood. (CBC)

“I had a bad past with thievery and a bunch of other stuff,” said Tyler McKinney, 20. “I was looking for somewhere I belonged, and I could have ended up somewhere far worse — I could have ended up with these street gangs, but I saw the brotherhood … and heard so many good things.”

McKinney and Brown spent Tuesday handing out sandwiches and oranges to the city’s homeless with Keith Proulx, another member of the brotherhood.

Proulx, 29, had the idea Monday night, so he asked a few friends to chip in money, and they put together about 250 sandwiches along with 100 oranges.

“It doesn’t cost that much to do this kind of stuff,” said Proulx. “If everybody could chip just a little bit every once in a while it could give people hope.”

He said his brother in The Pas, Robert Nabess, helped the brotherhood hand out Christmas hampers to families who needed them, and Proulx wanted to do something in Winnipeg.

“You see people out here freezing because they’re wearing spring jackets,” said Proulx. “It’s hard to see that.… It just feels good to give back to the community and see people smile.”

Proulx and the Winnipeg chapter of the brotherhood are asking the community to donate blankets, mitts, jackets and boots to be brought to a number of homeless shelters in the city.

“We don’t see ourselves as above anybody. We see ourselves as we struggle together,” said McKinney. “We struggle together with them. That’s who we are — us Crazy Indians — that’s how we do.”

Tyler McInney holds sandwiches while Justin Brown takes more out of the trunk to hand out to Winnipeg’s homeless. (Meagan Fiddler/CBC)

What’s in a name?

The group, which was founded in Winnipeg, chose the Crazy Indians Brotherhood moniker to reclaim a part of their identity, according to Brown.

“From the Europeans, when they came here, they would say, ‘Oh look at that crazy Indian,’ so basically, we’re trying to show them how crazy good we could be,” said Brown.

The group isn’t just for aboriginal men — people from all backgrounds are welcomed.

Proulx said the group is trying to change perceptions.

“People look at us and say, ‘Oh. yeah, these guys are bad people,’ and there’s nothing bad about us at all,” said Proulx.


Crazy Indians Brotherhood Shows Their True ‘Colors’ by Feeding the homeless (Video)

Photo: Red Power Media

Crazy Indians Brotherhood feed the homeless. Photo: Red Power Media

By Black Powder | RPM Staff

Winnipeg – Today a group of Aboriginal men from the Crazy Indians Brotherhood got together to clothe and feed the homeless outside of the Thunderbird house across from the salvation army on main street.

Though they look like a stereotypical street gang, they say the Crazy Indians is not a gang or a club, but a support group for Aboriginal and Metis men looking to disassociate themselves from the gang life.

Some of the members dressed in black leather with their “colors” gave a video interview to Red Power Media.

The Crazy Indians Brotherhood doesn’t deny that many of its members have checkered pasts but says they now use that personal experience to encourage young people to make positive choices in their lives.

Photo: Red Power Media

Photo: Red Power Media

Robert Nabess, president of the group’s chapter in The Pas told CTV news “he had been to jail many times”.

Nabess used to be in a criminal gang, sell drugs and fight.

“I just snapped out of it one day with some help from others,” said Nabess. “Now I’d like to give some of that help back.”

Photo: Red Power Media

Photo: Red Power Media

Photo: Red Power Media

Photo: Red Power Media

Ernie Guiboche, president of the group’s Winnipeg chapter said “Yeah people do see the vests and they just think the worst right away but once they know what we’re really about they kind of appreciate it and they want to offer to help us”.

Photo: Red Power Media

The Crazy Indians Brotherhood. Photo: Red Power Media