Leech Lake community battles wave of violence

Residents of a community on the Leech Lake Ojibwe Reservation met last week to discuss a rising tide of violence, substance abuse and general lawlessness in Cass Lake.

Leech Lake Band Chairman George Goggleye has declared war on the scourge. "The youth are the future of our people," Goggleye said, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. "If we don't do something, I have to question our ability to survive."

In recent months, the community of 860 has seen two murders involving two young men. Young people have been involved in other drug and gang-related crimes.

"A lot of kids are getting angry that nothing is being done," 16-year-old Ashley Williams said, the paper reported. "I don't think it's right that kids can't feel safe in their community."

Tribal, local and state officials want to work together to stem the wave of violence. They said new programs and funding are needed to combat crime and substance abuse.

Get the Story:
From Leech Lake, a cry to ensure a future (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 12/5)

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