Internationally Acclaimed and Proven Effective Intervention Program Comes to Cree Nation

Thanks to a generous $1.36 million grant from the National Crime Prevention Centre of Public Safety Canada, the Cree Regional Authority Department of Justice and Correctional Services has brought to the Cree First Nation of Mistissini and the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi a three-year pilot of the internationally known and proven effective SNAP program.


SNAP® stands for STOP NOW AND PLAN. It is a cognitive-behavioural strategy that helps children and parents regulate angry feelings by getting them to stop, think, and plan positive alternatives before they act impulsively. The strategy was developed in the late 1970’s for use in a classroom by the former Earlscourt Child and Family Centre, Toronto, Canada (now called the Child Development Institute) for behaviourally disordered children in a day treatment program by one of its staff.  The strategy was then further enhanced and developed into a manualized and multifaceted model (SNAP® Under 12 Outreach Project) in 1985 for young children in conflict with the law by a team of scientists and practitioners. In 1996, the SNAP® model became gender-sensitive with the launching of its SNAP Girl Connection program (SNAP® GC).

Interest in SNAP® is growing at a fast rate. Thousands of professionals have been trained in its use and to date, SNAP® licenses have been issued to children’s mental health agencies, educational facilities, and other community and social service organizations across Canada, United States and Europe. Today, SNAP® is an award winning, evidence-based model that has been subjected to rigorous evaluation which has demonstrated positive treatment outcomes among children under the age of 12 with conduct and related behavioural problems.

SNAP Mistissini and Waswanipi
The Department was able to secure funding to pilot test SNAP in two Cree communities for approximately 30 months starting April 2011 and ending in October 2013. Over the course of the program, our goal is to work with some 180+ children aged 6 to 11 who are experiencing behavioural difficulties or are in contact with the police. Our program will include a 12-week parents and children group sessions, a homework club, recreation program, one-on-one mentorship program and cultural gatherings.

If the pilot program proves effective, we will look to ways to offer the program in additional communities or in school settings. For more information on the SNAP program, please download this comprehensive Program Overview, which includes a journal article attesting to the positive outcomes associated with the program.