Breaking the Cycle!

Stardale needs YOU! For the first time in twenty two years, Stardale is experiencing a lack of funding that has the Board considering significantly scaling back or shutting the program until funding can be found. We address a “GAP” in services with Calgary for Indigenous girl’s ages 10 to 17 years. For detailed information visit our website  Please consider making a donation - every little bit helps....

 The following breakdown represents the cost per girl on weekly bases per program area with 30 girls attending the program.

$5 provides transportation each week
$5 provides a wholesome dinner each week
$10 per week can help cover the cost of a cultural activity related to the arts/ life skills/ literacy for all participants. 
$10 per week for all the materials and supplies during the program course

 Testimonial by author Eugene Stickland –author and poet

The Stardale Women’s Group currently offers programs for indigenous girls in the Calgary area. The staff, the volunteers, the people they serve are all female.

 In my case, it began with a poetry writing workshop and helping the girls express themselves using the written word. This is just one of many diverse workshops offered to the girls by guest speakers from different areas of expertise around Calgary. Others include modeling, cooking and baking, hula hooping, running, financial literacy, painting, spirituality, etc. etc. etc.

Whatever the area of focus for the evening, some things remain consistent. The evening always begins with a hot, healthy meal for the girls. This is followed by a circle talk led by Executive Director Helen McPhaden, usually centred on important issues of the day such as the opioid crisis, suicide and cutting, personal boundaries, respect – all important and meaningful issues to young girls living in an urban environment. I have worked on two major projects with the girls, and helped them created two performance pieces told for the most part through thoughts and ideas they have shared with me, and as far as possible told in their own words. The first of these is titled Committing and deals with the current suicide crisis among indigenous youth. The second, titled The Makebeliever Project, looks at the girls’ dreams and the impediments to their being able to realize them.

Both of these pieces have been tremendously impactful to audiences who have seen them. They have also helped the girls come out of their shells, become more confident and take pride in their own stories.  

 As we are all aware, there are precious few programs that address the needs of our indigenous people, especially girls, in a meaningful manner. This is not surprising, given that there are precious few funds directed to this situation we do not want to lose this effective and meaningful program for want of a few thousand dollars. Please, support Helen and Stardale so they can continue to do their important work with indigenous girls in Calgary. For it’s as the poet said,

            Don’t it always seem to go

            Seems you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone


Thank you.

Eugene Stickland

Calgary, AB

November, 2018


  • Edda Koopmann 
    • $500 
    • 17 mos
  • Shannon Cook  
    • $300 
    • 19 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $75 
    • 19 mos
  • Jackie Whitfield 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos
  • Kathy Terpstra 
    • $100 
    • 19 mos
See all


Helen McPhaden 
Calgary, AB
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