Family Violence Initiative
COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Alternatives to Gangs
- Program name:
Str8Up for Males and Females Exiting Gangs
Kinsman Activity Place
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
Kathie Pruden, Program Coordinator
The program was founded in 1987 and is still ongoing.
- Goals & Objectives:
STR8UP assists young men and women to master their own destiny in liberating themselves from gangs and criminal street lifestyles, reducing vulnerability to violence and abuse; to become a responsible citizen; to become a loving parent; and to be a faithful partner.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
Cultural teachings about women and having respect for women are offered. Access to ceremony is gained through sweat lodges and Sundance ceremonies. Elders and Cultural Advisors assist the participants in knowing how to show emotion without violence. Most of the participants are third generation dealing with violence. Part of the process is to train the participants that violence can no longer be normalized and that there are ways to be loving and caring to their partners. The circle deals with men on men violence and men on women violence.
- Components of program:
Str8Up is a very traditional program and is incorporated in federal and provincial jails (male and female). The program consists of a traditional sharing circle (that includes teachings, prayers, songs and smudging) with an Elder and Cultural Advisor. The program seeks to have clients achieve three goals; 1) To become a responsible citizen (i.e. employed, attending school, law abiding etc); 2) To become a loving parent; 3) To be a faithful partner by maintaining a healthy and respectful relationship with their partner.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided on site at the facility and off site at various locations in the community.
Funding is provided by the United Way; the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development's Urban Aboriginal Strategy; and John Howard Society.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
Members of Str8Up gives direction to every aspect of the program.
Saskatoon Tribal Council; Child Hunger Education Program; Saskatoon Health Region; Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop; Urban Aboriginal Strategy; City of Saskatoon; Social Services; Parole and Probation; Saskatoon Police; Boy & Girls Club; International Women of Saskatoon
- Other relationships:
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by how many clients maintain sobriety and stay out of jail.
65 men and women have left gangs as a result of the program.
Obtaining funding. There is a need for transparency of government measures of "success" in programs.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. Staff would need to be empathetic and understanding of the issues that clients face on a daily basis.
Adequate funding, properly trained staff and facility space for the programming would be necessary to ensure the program's success.
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