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Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday March 29 2015
3:32 PM EDT
2014-01-13 at 16:03

‘Enough is enough’

Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau first step in tackling gang issues is acknowledging they exist.
Jodi Lundmark,
Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau first step in tackling gang issues is acknowledging they exist.
By Jodi Lundmark,

The chief of Fort William First Nation is telling gangs in her community and the city that “enough is enough.” 

"We know they're here. We know predators do exist," said Chief Georjann Morriseau Monday morning at the Fort William First Nation where a workshop was being held for the city's youth on gangs and other dangers like drugs and alcohol.

Morriseau said the first step in tackling the issue is acknowledging the problem; the next step is to target the gang leaders.

"I'm going to say enough is enough. Don't prey on my kids anymore because my kids deserve a future. Don't take that away from them," she said.

City youth attended the presentation and Morriseau said it was an opportunity for children, parents and educators to get an understanding of the issues.

"I think the young people will walk away today with a more keen knowledge on exactly the types of peer pressure that are out there and the groups, peers, that are out there that are also preying on our young and vulnerable children," she said.

Story continues after video ... 

Gangs often seem alluring to youth who feel displaced and are looking for a sense of purpose and belonging; Morriseau said they feel accepted by the gangs and often have a romanticized vision of gang life.

"Once you're in, you're in and the young people really need to see where the path of gangs and hatred and violence leads you," she said, adding they often lead to death.

The chief said giving youth alternatives like thought-out programming and services is the way to keep them away from gangs and other dangerous activities.

She said whether it's sports and recreation or a drop-in centres, youth need these avenues.

"Those are vehicles to carry these kids and say 'we're going to pull you from that. You do have somebody that cares, that you can trust, that you can rely and depend on,'" she said.

Morteesha Chickekoo was surprised to learn how young people are recruited by gangs.

The 14-year-old Pope John Paul II School student she thought the presentation was valuable and more students should learn about gangs and the dangers associated with them.

"If you know people who do it, try to avoid them," said Chickekoo.



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yqtyqt says:
Good for Chief Morriseau. What a refreshing point of view.

I wish her luck and commend her efforts.
1/13/2014 4:24:55 PM
westfort resident says:
Fort William First Nation Chief Georjann Morriseau is a role model for all youth, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike. The more she speaks, the more faith I have in her abilities to lead. I hope the community rallies around her and she gets the support needed to improve opportunities for youth so they don't get lured by gangs. Kudos and respect to you, Ms/Mrs Morriseau.
1/13/2014 4:31:50 PM
livewire says:
Two thumbs up for Georjann Morriseau . It's about time someone brought this story to light. Too bad our Mayor/Council hasn't spoke out on this issue. Georjann Morriseau should run for Mayor of Thunder Bay.
1/13/2014 4:53:44 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
In defence of the Mayor, this is one issue I think he is actually taking a lead on. Believe me, I am not a fan of the Mayor, but I do think he's doing good work in this area. He's working hard to build trusting relationships with First Nations. And as far as who should come out first and state that the native gangs are a problem, I think it's very important that it comes from an aboriginal leader first, as opposed to the Mayor doing so. I also think Chief Morriseau has made an important first step, and now it's time to follow up and not lose traction, now that there is a bit.
1/13/2014 10:20:19 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Two great quotes from this Chief.

"the first step in tackling the issue is acknowledging the problem" Thank you for having the courage to say it and getting it out there. Too many aboriginal leaders are afraid to acknowledge this.

And second "Don't prey on my kids anymore because my kids deserve a future." Awesome.

I love this Chief's beliefs and her conviction. Hopefully the old boys club doesn't wear her down. Stay strong Chief. Everybody's future needs you and more like you.
1/13/2014 5:25:27 PM
olive garden says:
Thumbs up Chief Morriseau.
1/13/2014 5:56:54 PM
really???? says:
First Nations need more leadership like her. Maybe then the money would go where its supposed to and not to rediculous unaccounted spending
1/13/2014 6:11:32 PM
Ranma says:
Actions speak louder than words. Until the Indian Posse and the other gangs are actually arrested, or made mention of at least, the rest of the city will just sweep this under the carpet as "Not my problem".
1/13/2014 7:02:54 PM
Tannoy says:
Which gangs are here exactly? Last I herd Thunder Bay doesn't have a gang problem, is our mayor lying to us?
1/14/2014 8:10:38 AM
keiths31 says:
Very well spoken leader. I am not a member of the FWFN, but from what I have seen and heard, they are lucky to have her as a leader.

1/14/2014 9:47:25 AM
rootbear says:, shouldn't you be somewhere other than here?
1/14/2014 12:36:55 PM
unknowncronik says:
Saying that gangs exist around here does not deserve praise,

ACTION deserves praise...

So sit back & see what she does to solve the issue instead of giving her the "key to the city" just for bringing up the obvious.
1/14/2014 9:50:10 AM
dethyr says:
Well said... agreed
1/14/2014 10:55:56 AM
stonecutter says:
youth centre might help.
1/14/2014 12:52:14 PM
Rob20 says:
She said the same thing a year ago when she got her job and has done nothing to address it since
1/11/2015 6:42:14 PM
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