Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club

Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11); Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Gang-involved (and/or at risk)

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Alcohol and/or drug use; Antisocial/deviant behaviours; Gang and/or related criminal activities; Self-harm/suicide

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Primary crime prevention; Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club created a community engagement project to restore relational infrastructure and create safety for children and families through volunteerism, family outreach, and cultural continuity strategies.

In the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, it was identified that Aboriginal youth are greatly impacted by intergenerational trauma and are exhibiting  characteristics such as confusion about cultural identity, enduring sadness, acting out, early sexual behaviour, self-harm and suicide, substance abuse and addictions, violence, and entry into gangs.

A major purpose of the program was to encourage community agencies to implement ‘integrated case management’ for more effective and efficient work with families who often have complex issues and who are interfacing with multiple agencies. In the past, agencies would engage with families separately which led to a number of issues. Additionally, the multiple agencies caused families to become more dependent on the agencies, rather than independent of them, as the families had to manage multiple relationships.


The main goals of the Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club are to:

  • Offer extensions to existing practice or create new initiatives that would decrease risk factors;
  • Build protective factors within children and families; and
  • Engage children and families in processes to create change.


The appropriate clientele for the Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club are indigenous youth and their caregivers who have been impacted by intergenerational trauma.

Core Components

The program was implemented in three strands as follows:

  • Partnerships with families: Building relationships by having ‘kitchen table conversations’ with families;
  • Volunteerism and community engagement: Research into the positive effects of community engagement; and
  • Cultural connection: Cultural teaching and supports for children and families.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements:
    • Sweat lodges, circles, and storytelling should be incorporated into the project for staff and participants; and
    • A ‘community engagement’ process should be designed; the entire community should be the focus of project activities.
  • Partnerships: Blue Quills College and the Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Indigenous Research Methodology (Ceremony, Circle Process, and Relational Accountability) should be integrated into the evaluation process.
  • 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 Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club was implemented in the Saddle Lake Cree Nation (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

No information available.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from: 

For more information on this program, contact:

Saddle Lake Boys & Girls Club
Sharon Steinhauer
Telephone: (780)645-4455

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-12
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: