Indian Posse is the largest aboriginal street gang in Manitoba, Western Canada, and it was formed in 1988 by brothers Daniel and Richard Wolfe in the basement of their mother’s house. Indian Posse remains one of the most active gangs in the Manitoba area.
Indian Posse is a paramilitary-style gang comprised of kids with similar abuse in their backgrounds and absent parents; the gang makes their money from drug sales. As the name caught on and notoriety followed, many members had the name “Indian Posse” tattooed across their shoulder blades in an old-fashioned script. The gang has since spread across Canada, particularly in the rural prairie areas where aboriginals live. Some claim that it has spread to traditional Native American states in the U.S. as well.
There are more than 11,000 gang members in Canada, but aboriginal youth and young adults are particularly predisposed to joining due to the group’s history of disenfranchisement and fractured families. Without role models and stability in childhood, these young people flock to gangs for identity, purpose, and a sense of belonging.
Since 2001, the number of aboriginal women going to prison has increased by 90 percent, and the population of women in prison, in general, has jumped 40 percent. Indigenous women that go to prison are younger and prime targets for gang involvement. According to a national survey in 2008, one in six women in prison has gang ties. Only one in eight men in prison are tied to gangs.
Indian Posse gang colors are red, and members are known for wearing red bandanas. Indian Posse has ties to Hell’s Angels, acting as the motorcycle gang’s underlings or support group. Indian Posse gang rivals include the Manitoba Warriors, Redd Alert, Saskatchewan Warriors, and Alberta Warriors.
Indian Posse initiation includes enduring a painful beating by other members to prove that the new members are strong enough. Also, members must commit crimes like burglary and murder to be accepted by the rest of the gang.
Co-founder of Indian Posse,Richard Wolf killed a pizza delivery man and went to prison for many years; he was released in 2010.
Indian Posse co-founder Daniel Wolf was stabbed to death in a prison brawl while serving a long sentence for a double murder.
After Daniel’s death and the death of their father and his stepson, Richard turned to drugs and alcohol to dull the pain of his losses and soon he was committing violent crimes again.In 2014 Richard Wolf was sentenced to five years in prison for a sexual assault with a weapon.
The judge who sentenced him recommended that Wolfe be allowed to confer with an aboriginal elder and to take part in traditional ceremonies that would help him heal from a lifetime of damage that started in childhood. Two years later Richard Wolfe was found dead in the prison exercise yard.
Indian Posse co-founder Daniel Wolfe was responsible for a prison break involving six men in 2008. At the time he was awaiting trial for double murder. He and the other prisoners chiseled through a cinderblock wall of their cell using pieces of a rotary fan. They climbed a fence and disappeared into the surrounding neighborhoods. Wolfe was one of the last apprehended by police.
The rivalry between the Indian Posse and Manitoba Warriors were responsible for an 18-hour prison riot during which guards lost control of the prisoners, and one prisoner’s fingers were cut off.