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Shelley Cardinal

What is the value of PREVNet?

Shelley Cardinal, National Aboriginal consultant to the Canadian Red Cross RespectED: Violence and Abuse Prevention program, is the driving force behind Walking the Prevention Circle, a program that focuses on prevention education for Aboriginal communities. With an understanding of the many issues facing Canadian Aboriginal people, Walking the Prevention Circle is designed to help communities gain awareness of prevention strategies that can be used to decrease the impact abuse and violence has in everyday life. A member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta and now based in Victoria, Cardinal works closely with Aboriginal people and communities across Canada.

In 2000, Cardinal was selected through the Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference to be one of the future leaders of the country and was told by Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, "Your enthusiasm to contribute to Canada's development, and to the well-being of all Canadians, gives me great confidence in our country's future." In 2002, Cardinal was presented the Golden Jubilee Medal of Honour for implementing prevention education in more than 50 Aboriginal communities across the country.

In recent years, Cardinal has delivered prevention workshops in more than 70 Aboriginal communities from coast to coast to coast and presented in National and International Conferences. Because the demand for such programming is far greater than she alone could meet, Cardinal has trained Aboriginal facilitators in the delivery of Walking the Prevention Circle. The program explores the roots of abuse and violence, the legacy of historical wrongs and the power found in traditional Aboriginal principles. The workshops empower participants to name and reclaim the past, and begin the transition from the cycle of violence to the circle of healing.

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