PONSFORD, Minn. — The boys passed a one-gallon bottle of spiced rum from person to person, waiting for Saturday night on the White Earth Reservation to begin. Cigarette and marijuana smoke curled slowly around the low-hanging light fixtures as caps were twisted off beer bottles and tossed onto counters or into an overflowing trash can.
Senister — who agreed to be interviewed only if he could use a pseudonym — lit a menthol cigarette, took a pull from the rum, and cleared his throat.
“We got members scattered everywhere, but there’s going to be a point when we need everyone in the field,” said Senister to the boys in the room.
Born 33 years ago in Oklahoma, the Ponca tribal member is a leader of the Minneapolis street gang known as the Native Disciples. He had traveled to the reservation to meet new members of the White Earth chapter, encourage morale and conduct something comparable to a military inspection.
“We’re trying to start a chapter in Oklahoma; hopefully we can get that started,” continued Senister. “We’re just trying to get bigger. I want you brothers to understand that.”
Compared to Senister, the Native Disciples of White Earth were children. The twins were the youngest at 16, while Dell, the regional capo for the gang, was the oldest at 19.
Note: This is the fifth story in a five-part series on Native American gangs.