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Christmas Is Where The Heart Is


At Stardale Women's Group, we are aware that during this Christmas season in particular, our girls may find themselves in extraordinarily vulnerable situations. Let's just call it for what it is - a lot of our girls live in houses that Santa seldom finds on his big night out. It's bad enough when things are good with the world; this year feels like a looming disaster.

With this in mind, we are always looking for ways to mitigate against the uncertainty of the times and to help give our girls the best Christmas possible. It's a tall order, but it's what we do. Because when we provide positive, supportive environments for Indigenous young women and girls, we build resilience across generations.

With your support through our giving campaign, Stardale Women's Group can help even more Indigenous youth and their families access the opportunities they need to thrive - in turn strengthening our community.

There are many ways to give to Stardale Women's Group:

Donate Today!

Your monetary dollars and in-kind contributions go toward increased social and wellness programming, basic needs, and better lives for many Indigenous young women and girls, their families, and their communities in Calgary.

Here are just some ways your donations can make an impact:

  • A healthy, dignified meal for girls and young women
  • Supporting weekly workshops and activities
  • Fuel for transportation
  • Essential collaboration with community partners
  • Supplies for foundational learning and literacy
  • Resources to educate and promote Indigenous culture

Volunteer As A Youth Mentor!

Through mentorship, our goal is provide the Stardale girls with the development tools and resources that they need to facilitate their personal, academic and leadership growth and inspire motivation in themselves.

If you are interested in volunteering with us as a Youth Mentor, please send your résumé to

Host A Fundraiser!

Corporations, small businesses, and individuals have shown some amazing creativity with their fundraising ideas. From benefit concerts to birthday celebrations, we are grateful to our community members for raising funds to support social and wellness programming. We'd love to chat about your ideas for a fundraiser; please send your messages to

Like And Share On Social Media!

Spreading the word about the important work we do and sharing our content helps us stay connected to you and others; it also supports our cause!




Thank you for your incredible gift of happiness during the toughest of times.

We could not do the work we do without the incredible community support we receive. You truly warm the hearts of families and staff and make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth and families, who without your support, would not have felt the spirit of the season embrace them with its promise of hope, love, and joy.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support.

Become A Youth Mentor!

Prairieaction Foundation Award

Prairieaction Certificate

Stardale Women's Group is honoured to receive for the second time the Prairieaction Foundation Youth Leadership Award for The Road: Sharing Stories of Missing and Murdered Women. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to come together formally but our hearts are connected as one.

The 25 girls of the Stardale program in Calgary with its team of female elders, facilitators and workers guided and supported the processes to heal and break the cycles of abuse and violence directed at them and within their community. These adults assisted the girls in being able to create a narrative that is both a cultural mirror and a "two-world view" for the non-Indigenous Calgary and area community.

Through the creation of The Road, a strategized project that relates to the many females who have gone missing on the Yellowhead Highway, or what is known as the "Trail of Tears," the girls were empowered to become leaders in their community and the larger Calgary and area community. Audiences will learn the impact the numerous murdered and missing women has had on the lives of these young Indigenous women through their storytelling. Storytelling is the traditional way of imparting knowledge and wisdom in our Indigenous community.

Ribbon Skirt Cultural Project

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts under the granting of "Creating, Knowing and Sharing for Indigenous Peoples" for supporting Stardale Women's Group Inc. in the Ribbon Skirt Cultural Project.

It was a mighty effort to complete this project while COVID-19 had limited our contact.

When we began this project with the Elders, the helpers and the young girls coming together, it was magnificent to be part of the synergy which was flowing. Listening to the stories and the guidance from our Elders was beneficial for all whom partook in the sewing circles.

The Ribbon Skirt Project was a component of the performance creation stage production of The Road, which was to launch at the Stardale Gala on May 14. The Gala was cancelled due to COVID-19. Alas, all is not lost, as we will be having all the girls together on the stage in the near future when it's safe to do so.

We humbly thank all the women who assisted in the teaching of the girls how to sew. Several girls made comments as to how relaxing sewing was. It was new beginnings as they learned more on their culture and women's roles in their community.

Ribbon Skirt Project

Happy New Year!

Blog entry #28 in the development of the Road series for Stardale

Written by Eugene Stickland - December 29, 2020

Well, wasn't that a year? It was a year more to be survived or endured than really lived with any joy or contentment. I've heard it described as building the airplane while you're flying it, and that seems pretty accurate. Do we wear masks or not? What about gloves? Can we congregate or must we isolate? The messages changed as the year we went on, and most of us tried to adapt and do what we could to remain safe ourselves and protect those around us.

How many times did you wash your hands this year? I lost track sometime in March.

For those of us involved in the Stardale girls' program, the year was a balancing act, to put it mildly. How do you support over twenty different girls spread throughout the city during a lockdown? Two lockdowns now, in fact. How do you continue to foster a sense of community, and keep the circle strong, when you cannot physically get together? It would have been easy enough for Helen and her staff and volunteers to shrug their shoulders and throw up their hands and give up for the year (better luck in 2021!) but in fact, just the opposite happened.

Knowing that lockdowns and the resulting isolation would be particularly trying for the girls of the program, they set out on an ambitious program of home visits (of course, following all of the distancing protocols, etc.), along with curbside drop offs of various and sundry goodies and necessities - all of this activity aimed at making the girls feel loved and supported during these very lonely and isolating times.

For those of us working on The Road project, it was a particularly challenging time. There we were, about to embark on the production of a new stage play at the very moment that theatres around the world were shutting down. Making matters worse, the production of the play was to be the cornerstone of a gala fundraising event that was sorely needed to help offset some of the operational expenses of this perennially underfunded organization. No play. No gala. No funds.

I think for those of us who work at Stardale who are not Indigenous, we are driven by a very strong ethos not to be part of the problem. You know, the problem. And so, we do what we can, come hell or high water, to make good on our promises, and to never let these girls down. It's one of the Four Agreements, after all: be impeccable with your word. It's high time (actually, it's way beyond time) for mainstream society to stop making excuses and to honour our commitments to our Indigenous people.

With this in mind, cancelling was never an option for us. Anything but. Adaptation was the key. Fortunately, we had the right people on hand to switch horses midstream, as they say, and create a short film from what started out as a stage play. The text came from the girls - we had created it together in January and February. The film featured girls from the program, along with a very special person in Stardale world, our Elder, Wanda First Rider.

So, in that horrible year that is now mercifully coming to an end, we created the text for a play, we adapted the play for film, we shot the film, we completed the film and released it as well as we could on the Zoom format, and we even won a few awards for our efforts. All of this in a year known more for cancellation than completion.

The best thing about it was that we honoured the work the girls did as well as our promise to have their words heard, and we brought an important subject - the girls' reaction to the sad ongoing situation of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women - to light.

Despite all odds, we seemed to have a pretty good year, considering everything!

As for next year, well - onward and upward! We will find new ways to grow and adapt and we will create a companion piece for The Road. Failure, quitting, giving up, turning our backs, walking away - none of these have ever been options for us. We will meet the challenges of 2021 by using the same spirit with which we faced the uncertainties of 2020.

That said, wouldn't it be great if 2021 was just a little bit easier?

Happy new year, everyone!

Previous entries can be found in the Eugene's Blog section of the site.

photo of girl with mask on Our Videos

The Road

The Make Believer Project
The Make Believer Project

Pop Up Art
Stardale Pop Up Art in the Park Series for Canada 150

movie camera Life As You Don't Know It - a comic book by young Aboriginal girls.

Research report by Stardale

Alesha's Dream

Stardale is looking to recruit innovative women in Calgary who are ready to work within the framework of our after-school projects for young Aboriginal girls ages 10-17.

Last updated January 5, 2021

Life As You Don't Know It comic book
Designed by Copian in collaboration with Stardale Women's Group Inc. Foundation