Saskatoon·Feature

Crazy Indians Brotherhood helps one man leave life of crime

At 16, Howard Martell wore a bullet proof vest and carried a gun. His life has changed drastically since he joined the Crazy Indians Brotherhood.

Howard Martell left his old ways behind to join a new crew, the Crazy Indians Brotherhood

Howard Martell is a member of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood. (Joshua Lynn/CBC)

Gang life is behind him but Howard Martell is marked by the experience with a tattoo beneath his right eye.

"One time I was on the bus and there was this little boy with his mom and he said, 'Hey mom, look at the bad guy!' That's when I realized I should get it removed."

So many people are so judgemental, they judge a book by its cover- Howard Martell

At 16, Martell said he wore a bulletproof vest and carried a gun. He was addicted to Oxycontin and a member of the Terror Squad street gang.

He has since dropped his gang colours in order to join a different crew. Martell is a member of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood, a group of men who try to help others.

Still, Martell said people sometimes cross the street when they see him.

Howard Martell has joined a new crew, the Crazy Indians Brotherhood. (Joshua Lynn/CBC)

"So many people are so judgemental," he said. "They judge a book by its cover."

However, Martell explained he is a family man who wants to give back to his community.

He said removing the tattoo will be a visual indicator that he's leaving the past behind.

"It's pretty crazy.It's a big change. I didn't think it was possible."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leisha Grebinski

Saskatoon Morning Host

Leisha Grebinski is the host of CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. You can hear the show weekdays between 6 and 8:30 a.m. CST on 94.1 FM or stream it on the CBC Listen App.

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