Ka Goola' Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11); Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-64); Seniors (65 and older)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Families; Victims of crime

Topic: Family (domestic) violence/child maltreatment; Recidivism

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting; Criminal justice setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The project provides support to victims of crime, particularly violent crime and domestic violence, in the community of Chateh (Assumption). Chateh is a First Nations community (Dene Tha' First Nation) located in northern Alberta approximately 100 kilometers northwest of High Level.

There is a lack of information regarding available court services, and what is there is not always in plain language. In addition to this, victims of crime do not always receive support from family and friends, and thus fail to participate in the court process. This results in a large number of incomplete cases and a continuing cycle of violence.

In 2011, the Community Wellness Department received funding from the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF) for a crime prevention project, and a Community Safety Coordinator (CSC) was hired to support victims and witnesses in an effort to decrease crime and violence through the Ka Goola' program.

The Safety Coordinator's role consists of explaining, in plain language, the issues that the client faces with court or other systems, and helping the client to navigate these systems and address these problems, including:

  • Being a victim or a witness in criminal court;
  • Becoming involved in the Child Welfare system (usually through having their children removed);
  • Filing a claim, and appearing before the Indian Residential Commission to seek compensation; and
  • Dealing with other systems, such as: applying for disability assistance, settling estates, coping with acting-out teens or bullied children, and financial abuse.


The main goals of the Ka Goola' program are to:

  • Decrease the impact of victimization;
  • More successfully prosecute cases; and
  • Ultimately reduce recidivism.


The appropriate clientele for the Ka Goola' program are victims of violent crime and domestic violence in the community of Chateh (Assumption) aged 10 to 78 years old. 130 clients received support from the CSC over three years.

Core Components

The Ka Goola' program involves self-referrals or referrals from family and friends. The Community Safety Coordinator works with clients as follows:

  • The Safety Coordinator meets with the victim or witness and prepares them for court, explaining documents and terms in plain language, and answering any questions. She/he attends court with the client;
  • She/he advocates for victims and witnesses, helping them to access services. She/he organizes case conferences with other agencies to help determine a course of action to help the family;
  • She/he assists parents who are involved in Family Court processes. She/he participates in case conferences, meetings, and court appearances related to child welfare concerns. She helps the parents understand the process, and provides input to the authorities when requested based on her direct knowledge of the family; and
  • At the Residential School hearings, the Safety Coordinator's role may include helping with paperwork, attending the hearing with the person, providing moral support, and helping them understand and fully participate in the process.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: The lead organization should have the capacity to offer interpretive services to clients, services related to grief and loss, and anger management and domestic violence programs.
  • Partnerships: The organization should be able to partner with others working in the community to develop services aimed at reducing violence.
  • 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 Ka Goola' program has been implemented at Chateh which is a First Nations community (Dene Tha' First Nation) located in northern Alberta approximately 100 kilometers northwest of High Level. 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 Ka Goola' program. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The ratio for the Ka Goola' program is 1.62:1, which indicates that $1.62 in social value was created by the program for every dollar invested; and
  • Social value was created through: Reduced social cost of police response, court costs, legal aid, and medical costs for injuries; reduced costs of addictions, cost savings via reduction in duration of out of home child placement; Increased access to residential schools claims process; value of successful claims (counterbalanced).


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Ka Goola' 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:

Eileen Peters
Telephone: (780)321-3971
E-mail: eileen.peters@denetha.ca

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-23
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: