Manitoba

'They're heroes': Teen thanks Bear Clan in new music video

After serving time in juvenile detention, Tyler Harper said the Bear Clan Patrol helped him change his life. Now Harper, 19, is in high school where he is running a drum group and writing music.

Tyler Harper, 19, says Winnipeg group helped him turn his life around after stint in juvenile detention

Tyler Harper's song Demons is about the six months he spent in juvenile detention. Now 19, Harper says the Bear Clan Patrol helped him change his life. He's now in school and trying to reach other youth through his music. 3:09

Tyler Harper's life has changed a lot in recent years. In 2014, at 16, he was serving time in juvenile detention for six months.

Now, he is in high school in Winnipeg where he runs a drumming group. He's writing and recording his own songs as a rapper.

"I got out and changed my life. I'm a different person now from who I was in 2014," he said.

Harper says it was the Bear Clan Patrol that showed him a way out of a difficult time.

"They picked me up from the ground," Harper said. "[Now] I can give back to the community what I took from the community."

Other teens in East Kildonan, where he goes to school, look up to the Bear Clan, he said, especially since the group helped to look for Cooper Nemeth.

"They think [the Bear Clan] are heroes in the east side of Winnipeg," he said.

Harper's song Demons was recorded with help from the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre and its program Just TV which helps youth express themselves through multimedia.

The result is a music video that pays tribute to the organization that Harper says helped him turn his life around.

"I'm helping other youth to change their lives right now," he said.

"That's why in the video it shows I'm sitting on the ground, [Bear Clan co-founder, James Favel] is picking me up. And at the end of the video I'm picking someone else up."

The song Demons is dedicated to other young people who are in trouble with the law, Harper said.

"It's about being in jail and every lyric is what happened in jail," he said. "I made that song just to touch whoever is the same age as me that feel the same way."

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