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STR8 UP & Gangs: Troubled Past or Healthy Future!


Introducing our “STR8 UP & Gangs: Troubled Past or Healthy Future!” project, where we provide a space for STR8 UP members to share their experiences and to help people better understand the challenges they have faced and have overcome.

STR8 UP members are not just thugs, junkies, dope dealers – they are parents, siblings, children, lovers, artists, addicts, warriors and survivors.


In conversation with members inside and outside of correctional facilities in Saskatchewan, we have identified key themes and quotes for sharing on our social media channels, which come from a required autobiography written by STR8 UP members as part of their healing journey when they join the organization.

The images that accompany each quote also come from STR8 UP members and supporters. They have chosen images that they feel best represent each quote.

Follow us over the coming months to see these themes discussed, and share your thoughts and comments!


This is meant to provide an interactive space for conversation and learning. We invite you to follow us on social media to share the images, express what the images mean to you, or leave any comments or questions the images and quotes raise for you. Any discussion or comments on our social media may be used as a further educational tool. 

When you start the video, consider: Is this what gangs are all about?

After viewing, consider: Is there more to gangs than what you have seen?

We’d love to hear your responses! Submit below. Answers may be compiled and used in a printed compilation book at the completion of this project.

1 + 8 =

Support the project

At completion of the project, we will be compiling photos & comments into a printed book for purchase and sharing. We also intend on providing STR8 UP members who provided quotes for content with a complimentary book. If you’d like to support the project and our members, please consider donating!

It is our hope that this project will be beneficial in various ways. STR8 UP members have experienced extremely violent lives, as well as the most awe-inspiring recoveries. They wish to share their experiences and stories in order to educate, inspire, and assist other people in their recovery of similar painful journey. It is also their hope that you will better understand the complex lived realities of gang survivors in our province.

Together, we can build stronger, healthier communities – one step at a time.

Thank you

This project wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and creative talents of many committed individuals. Thank you to Stan Tu’Inukuafe, Father Andre Poilievre and Laura Beach for guiding and coordinating the project. Big thanks to the STR8 UP members, on both sides of the bars, for sharing your stories, providing insights, and developing themes and quotes. The photographs that accompany each quote were taken by: Patrick Horinawa, James Webster, Shane Taysup, Shane Partridge, Aloys Fleischmann, Spurgeon Root, Devon Napope, Chris Randall, Wyatt Bear, Cal Hills, Uknown, Andrèa Ledding, Bob Florence, Corinne Michael and Alyssa Witchekan. Thank you, Crystal Evers for your proofreading skills. Credit for the design, branding, and formatting of images goes to Arcana Creative.