Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES

Alternatives to Gangs

Program name:

Warrior Spirit Walking

Organization:

PA Outreach Program Inc.

Location:

Prince Albert, Alberta

Target Group:

Youth, male and female (Ages 10 – 22)

Contact Name:

Carrie McCloy

Phone:

N/A

Email:

ckmcloy@hotmail.com

Website:

N/A

Program Overview
History:

The program was started in 2004. At its beginning there were only two employees but through the years additional counsellors, outreach workers and employment consultants became available to the program.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To help at risk youth and children (in gangs or vulnerable to entering gang life) to achieve their full potential, reducing vulnerability to violence and abuse.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Counselling occurs in the form of a talking circle. Male and female Elders are asked to come in and provide teachings in the areas of: drumming, sweat lodges, sweetgrass and sage picking, round dances, making medicine bags and other cultural crafts and activities.

Components of program:

The program targets violence against girls through interventions and preventive counselling and workshops. There is counselling every week and some activities are done on a daily basis. There is education around what to do when being bullied. The program is offered at the elementary school level. Some clients participate in presentation teams where they have the opportunity to tell their stories to the community if they choose. Some girls who are closed or who are not able to move through their issues have become part of a powwow group. Through this they are partnered with an Elder. It is a grounding experience for them and the training is subtly provided.

Services/How they work:

Programs are offered on site (counselling sessions, group work) and off site (powwows and medicine picking).

Funding:

Funding has been made available through the Department of Public Safety's National Crime Prevention Centre.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

N/A

Partners:

YWCA, PA Health Department, Corrections (probation), Justice Program, Sask River School Division, Police.

Other relationships:

Retail businesses provide job placement opportunities.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

Available on www.publicsafety.ca (by Dr. Mark Totten, Youth Alliance Against Violence)

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by youths' abilities to find jobs, to become mentors to other youth, to successfully overcome substance abuse addictions, and regularly attending school.

Achievements:

Successfully helping at risk youth avoid gang life.

Challenges:

Obtaining funding. Loss of staff has had a negative impact on the facilities' ability to maintain relationships with clients.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

The staff asserts this program cannot be replicated elsewhere due to its unique circumstances and outlook.

Resources:

N/A

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