Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward

Program snapshot

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

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Sex workers; Victims of crime

Topic: Alcohol and/or drug use; Prostitution, sex trade and/or sexual exploitation

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Ontario

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward is a program that aims to assist Inuit adults and youth who are involved in prostitution or who are victims of sexual exploitation to safely exit the sex trade or reduce the associated harms. Services of the program are provided through outreach activities, intensive case management, and intensive treatment for trauma and addictions – which are all provided within an Inuit-specific cultural and linguistic context.

The program is centered on counselling and social work; healing circles; peer support groups; mentoring – tutoring; service delivery; and substance prevention/treatment.


The main goals of the Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward program are to:

  • Help Inuit adults and youth currently involved in prostitution or sexual exploitation to leave the sex trade; and
  • Provide wraparound services and treatment for the participants to assist with their needs (such as substance abuse and trauma).


The appropriate clientele for the Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward program are Inuit adults and youth aged 16 years and older who are involved in prostitution either as a means of subsistence, through human trafficking, or being exploited sexually. Risk factors for the target population may include homelessness, substance abuse, financial need, and untreated trauma.

Inuit involved in prostitution and sexual exploitation are reached through Outreach Case Managers.

Core Components

The Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward program consists of the following components:

  • Street outreach services that engage clients; offer supports and information; and provide an entryway into intensive treatment services;
  • Weekly, culturally-specific healing circles to engage clients in early stages of change;
  • Peer support groups to provide cultural connection and reduce isolation;
  • Intensive, culturally-specific residential and day treatment services for trauma and addictions, using a harm-reduction, client-centered approach. Treatment is provided through individual and group counselling and includes: trauma recovery; addictions treatment; anger management; assertiveness training; and learning based on cultural identity, pride, relationships, and sexuality;
  • Clients receive individualized plans of care, and when ready, will be assisted to develop plans to exit prostitution and sexual exploitation;
  • Intensive case management, advocacy, and accompaniment services will be provided throughout all aspects of service delivery to assist clients to access safe housing as well as medical, legal, financial, educational, and employment resources;
  • Continuing care counselling and weekly groups will be offered to support client transitions and goals set during the intensive treatment portion of the program; and
  • Data collection will track participation activities, outcomes, and the realities of prostitution, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking within Ottawa’s Inuit community.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: To properly implement this program, an organization must consist of individuals who are passionate about helping others; committed to enhancing the lives of Inuit people; and knowledgeable and respectful of Inuit culture, values, and beliefs. Members should also be adaptable, enthusiastic, and professionally-driven.
  • Partnerships: Important partnerships to the successful implementation of this program include primary health service providers, transition houses, and any other potential community organization/agency that can help service the needs of the participants.
  • Training and technical assistance: Hired staff will have (or be provided) suicide intervention training, conflict de-escalation training, and other types of training depending on individual professional development needs. Training will also be provided to meet emerging program needs in the development of this project.
  • Risk assessment tools: A risk assessment tool was developed and utilized by Outreach Case Managers and the Alluriarniq Counsellor to evaluate the individual’s situation and to ensure services are put into place to mitigate harm.
  • Materials & resources: Because the program functions uses a “stages of change” model, a stages of change evaluation tool is necessary to determine the appropriate level of service to provide participants, and to evaluate their progress.

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

Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to Tungasuvvingat Inuit to implement the Alluriarniq: Stepping Forward program from 2017-2022 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation of The Alluriarniq (Stepping Forward) Program was carried out between 2017 and 2022 by Hunter Courchene Group. Data was collected qualitatively through interviews with staff, a focus group with community members, and most significant change storytelling. A review of activity reports was also conducted.

Due to difficulties with the evaluation brought about by the pandemic, it was cancelled in 2023 after attempts at impact data collection for Years 3 and 4 were unsuccessful. Results until then showed the following:

  • In Year 4, a total of 103 community members participated in the program. Twenty community members graduated from the program, with 2 coming back to help develop future program workshops.
  • From interviews with community members, staff, and partners, the program appeared to be respectful of community members and embodied the culture of the Inuit.
  • Interviews with community members, staff, and partners also revealed that the program appeared to provide a welcoming environment for community members and highlighted to program staff that trust was needed before program participants disclosed information about their exploitation.

Cost Information

No information available.


Hunter Courchene Group. (2022). Alluriarniq Program Annual Report – Year 4 [Unpublished year 4 evaluation report]. Submitted to Public Safety Canada.

For more information on this program, contact:

Tungasuvvingat Inuit
1071, Richmond Road
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 6R2
Telephone: (613)565-5885

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-20
Record Updated On - 2023-12-11
Date modified: