Eden Valley ART Program

Brief Description

The Eden Valley ART Program was created following an identified opportunity to engage youth in the community from grades 5-12 at the Chief Jacob Bearspaw School. These students, some of whom had had previous arrests or were involved in gang-related activities, were at risk of dropping out of school. The program was implemented as a way of identifying and developing student talent within the arts, and providing counseling and issues management within the program.


The main goals of the Eden Valley ART Program are as follows:

  • Crime prevention and reduction:  Create a valuable youth program in Eden Valley (create a safe and positive environment where youth can excel) and reduce crime in Eden Valley (using non-violent means to reduce conflict);
  • Empowerment of youth : Empower youth to address violence (peer-to-peer counseling, youth-facilitated workshops); and
  • Capacity building: Youth development (increase self-esteem, community pride, as well as educational and employment opportunities).

Without the program, youth would have been more likely to become involved with the following:

  • Gang involvement;
  • Criminal activity;
  • Substance abuse/addiction;
  • Dropping out of school; and
  • Increased violence at home.


The appropriate clientele for the Eden Valley ART Program are Aboriginal youth (aged 11-30 years) in grades 5-12 who are at risk of low self-esteem, gang activity and substance abuse.

Core Components

The project invoked the highly successful Leave Out Violence (L.O.V.E.; www.leaveoutviolence.com) crime prevention program, in which at-risk  Aboriginal youth who have been affected by violence (whether as perpetrators, victims or witnesses) are empowered, while developing relevant skills, to address violence in their own lives as well as their community.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: Emphasis on cultural activities that increase engagement and a sense of pride as well as creating an environment where the youth are taking partial ownership of the program.
  • Partnerships: Limited information on this topic.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Eden Valley ART Program was implemented in the Stoney First Nation community of Eden Valley (Alberta) from 2010 to 2013. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Eden Valley ART Program.  The findings from the study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio is 8.56:1, indicating that for every dollar invested in the program, a social value of $8.56 was created; and
  • The social value created was through avoiding costs to the health, CJS and social support systems associated with youth involvement in high-risk activities and crime.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Eden Valley ART Program. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/safe-communities-innovation-fund-pilot-project-executive-summaries

For more information on this program, contact:

Tristan Lefthand
Telephone: (403) 710-9023
Email: tristanl@stoney-nation.com

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-22
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: