The Red Path – Living Without Violence

Program snapshot

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

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Adult offenders; Families

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

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Red Path – Living Without Violence program provides community-based, culturally appropriate treatment and preventative services for First Nations members convicted of domestic violence assault. The program combines cultural traditions with clinical practice to improve social and emotional competency in dealing with adverse environmental conditions.

The program uses an Aboriginal holistic approach to address the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of participants. It is based on building social and emotional competency skills in participants, and unlike most other domestic violence treatment programs for offenders, it is not primarily cognitive skills based. The key concepts used to facilitate action and change includes identification, communication, reflection and experience of emotions. Program techniques include Aboriginal ceremonies, presentation (individual and group), open discussions, creative expression through portfolio work, traditional teachings, and storytelling.

The Red Path model provides a group setting which includes 6 modules / 24 sessions (each three hours long) for adults, whereas children participate in 12 three-hour sessions covering 4 modules (Child and Youth Life Skills Program). The Yellowhead Tribal Community Corrections Society originally structured the program for delivery twice a week for 12 weeks.


The main goals of The Red Path – Living without Violence program are to:

  • Increase access to prevention and rehabilitative services; and
  • Decrease incidents of domestic violence, with a focus on improving self-knowledge, social/emotional skills, and supporting family healing.


The program aimed to influence First Nations people, both male and female, over the age of 18 years old that have been charged with a violent crime, specifically domestic assault. Individuals are referred to the program through the court system, probation services, social services, and/or family services.

Core Components

The core components of The Red Path – Living without Violence program are:

  • Administration/evaluation;
  • Program delivery;
  • Aftercare & maintenance;
  • Capacity building; and
  • Referrals

Referals will also be made to other services available in the community for spouses and children to provide additional support as needed. 

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Limited information on this topic.
  • Partnerships: This project involved the cooperation of facilitators, community service organizations, probation officers, program coordinators, justice committee members, and family members.
  • 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 project started in the Alexander and Alexis First Nations, and was attempted in Sunchild and O’Chiese First Nations in the final year the program.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) has been conducted on the Red Path – Living Without Violence program. The findings from this study have shown the following:

  • The SROI ratio, which is based on the total value created divided by the total investment, indicates that over the three-year pilot, the average social value of investment in the Red Path – Living Without Violence program is $1.28 for every dollar invested; and
  • The Red Path Living without Violence Program was able to complete two years of operations. It should be noted that the full impact of the program cannot be monetized completely, as factors such as emotional, spiritual, and mental health created by the program cannot be adequately monetized.

Funding was provided by the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.


Alberta Community Crime Prevention Organizations. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: The Red Path – Living Without Violence. Recipient of Safe Communities Innovation Fund, Government of Alberta. Available from:

For more information on this program, contact:

Yellowhead Tribal Community Corrections Society
Rupert Arcand
Telephone: (780)483-9404

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-14
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: