REACH Aboriginal Leadership Circle (RALC)

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-64)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous

Topic: Social development

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Recreational/sport-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Primary crime prevention; Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The REACH Aboriginal Leadership Circle (RALC) pilot project is a crime prevention program working to build a safe community for Aboriginal youth and families in Edmonton. The intention of this project was to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors while building a sense of cultural pride. Programs were open to the general population, and did not specifically target those at risk of criminal involvement. However, many of the participants self-reported as having been involved in some of the known risk factors for criminal behaviors, such as skipping school and petty crimes.


The main goals of the RALC pilot project are to:

  • Create a stronger sense of community, individual voice, and empowerment;
  • Provide opportunities to connect with others coming from similar background, and facing similar challenges;
  • Provide the opportunity to engage and interact with Aboriginal elders and artisans in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere to promote a healthy, active lifestyle;
  • Generate a sense of cultural pride and feelings of community belonging;
  • Increase engagement for Aboriginal groups in community activities; and
  • Build leadership capacity, relationships and community influence.


The appropriate clientele for the RALC pilot project are Aboriginal youth and young adults who are disconnected from their culture and community, but are looking for an opportunity to deepen their cultural connection through multi-generational community-oriented activities. The participants are youth 13-17 and adults.

Core Components

There are two distinct program streams to engage Aboriginal populations depending on their level of community engagement/willingness to engage:

  • Culture and recreational programming: To increase community and social connection; and
  • Leadership development program: To develop leadership skills within Aboriginal community.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: The lead organization should: Set realistic goals, be culturally inclusive from the start, employ care when screening.
  • 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 RALC pilot project was implemented in Edmonton (Alberta) from 2010 to 2014. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

The RALC was evaluated for the social return on investment (see the details in the next section) as well as for some outcomes. 77 surveys were completed from January 2011 to January 2013 and interviews with program staff were held at the conclusion of the RALC project. Culture and recreation activities were seen as helpful for improving protective factors and reducing risk factors in participating youth. For more information, communicate with REACH Edmonton.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on RALC. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio calculated for the RALC project is 1.70:1, which indicates that over the course of three years, the overall social value of investment in the program is $1.70 for every dollar invested; and
  • Social value was created for government systems through avoided costs related to crime, such as justice system costs and Edmonton Police Servie call outs. In addition, value was created to the community by increasing the amount of students staying in school and income of participants.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: REACH Aboriginal Leadership Circle (RALC). Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

REACH Edmonton – Council for Safe Communities. REACH Aboriginal Leadership Circle (RALC) and REACH Immigrant and Refugee Initiative (RIRI). Project Evaluation Reports Summary. Available from:  

For more information on this program, contact:

REACH Edmonton
Helen Rusich
Telephone: (780) 498-1231

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-09
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: