Local community leaders take first step towards bringing Restorative Action Program to Prince Albert

Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Prince Albert. Saskatoon RAP President Leane Durand speaks to Prince Albert community leaders during a presentation on Friday.

Meeting ‘a great first step’: Nogier

The Prince Albert Rotary Club, Kyla Art Group, and Mont St. Joseph Home met with community leaders on Friday to take the first step in developing a new Restorative Action Program (RAP) for youth in Prince Albert.

Representatives from Prince Albert’s health, education, and justice sectors met for a presentation from three members of the Saskatoon RAP team at the Coronet Hotel on Friday.

“It’s a great first step,” said Rotary Club member and Mont. St. Joseph CEO Wayne Nogier. “We had a great lunch today with community leaders…, just learning about how to kickstart this thing and get it going.”

Nogier said the Rotary Club first heard about the Saskatoon RAP two years ago when they were in Saskatoon for a convention. The program started in Saskatoon in 2003, and became permanent after a three-year trial period.

The program has since expanded to 11 schools across Saskatoon, and helps students navigate conflict, build relationships, and connect with their school and community. The goal is to help prepare them to resolve issues related to bullying, mental health, and relationships.

“It’s tough being a kid today, so when we look at how to affect (kids) at a grassroots level, it’s about getting kids those in touch with the resources they need,” Nogier said. “It’s not always the big formalized system that is well setup and designed to help deal with that. Sometimes it’s about just having adults that they trust being able to help them sort through what’s real and what’s not.”

Saskatoon RAP president Leane Durand, program coordinator Darren Bowman, and board chair Kent Smith-Windsor were all one hand for the presentation. Nogier said it was good to get an inside look at the program as community leaders prepare for the next step.

Ideally, Nogier would like to see more discussions take place, with a Prince Albert MAP program starting in September 2025. However, he said there’s still a lot of ground to cover before they make a final decision.

“Today was about planting some seeds and getting our community leaders involved and helping them understand what the program is,” he said. “I think the logical next step is needing some time to digest.”

This isn’t the first time the Rotary Club, Kyla Art Group, and Mont St. Joseph have partnered together on a project. Nogier said all there are always looking for ways they can have a positive impact on the community.

Saskatoon RAP Facilitators supported more than 10,000 students in Saskatoon last year, conducting more than 390 mediations in the process. That is a significant increase over 2022, according to the group’s most recent annual report.

@kerr_jas • jason.kerr@paherald.sk.ca