February 16, 2018 14:36 IST

Canada's indigenous warriors fight for their culture

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People take part in a smudging ceremony organized by the First Nations Indigenous Warriors and the American Indian Movement on the Cote First Nation, near the town of Kamsack, Saskatchewan. Smudging is a common practice among some indigenous peoples in North America and is believed to cleanse a person or place of negative energy. Credit: Reuters
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Members of the First Nation Indigenous Warriors (FNIW) patrol Winnipeg's North End in Manitoba, Canada. The FNIW was formed in early 2017 in the North End neighborhood of Winnipeg, Canada, where much of the city's indigenous population lives. It has become one of the city's most active warrior groups. Credit: Reuters
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People take part in a smudging ceremony organized by the First Nations Indigenous Warriors and the American Indian Movement on the Cote First Nation, near the town of Kamsack, Saskatchewan Credit: Reuters
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People take part in a smudging ceremony organized by the First Nations Indigenous Warriors and the American Indian Movement on the Cote First Nation, near the town of Kamsack, Saskatchewan. "We are a small group, but people are slowly noticing the things that we are doing," says Alex Munroe. Credit: Reuters
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Denby Shingoose (L), founder of the Indigenous Warriors: A Youth Warrior Society, holds a flag as Stanley Cote, another founder, sits beside him in Cote First Nation, near the town of Kamsack, Saskatchewan. "Our people are killing themselves, and we have to step up and try to stop that," says Cote, a member of FNIW who has lived in both Winnipeg and Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan. "I was in the village, on Cote First Nation, when my 12-year-old niece hung (sic) herself one morning." In response, Cote founded the Youth Warrior Society. Credit: Reuters