Darrell created and founded Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. (SCYAP) in June 2001. His experience working as a personal development coach for Indigenous youth, in combination with his admiration for the unbridled talent of graffiti artists, pushed him to answer his own questions: “How can we give these young, at-risk Indigenous youth, and the underprivileged an opportunity to have equal access to arts training? How can we take these talented graffiti vandals and have them re-channel their talent to positive initiatives and mainstream galleries?” His answer was the creation of SCYAP.
Over the course of his career Darrell accumulated over 30 years experience in youth program development and small business management. A few of his many experiences included developing and coordinating a group home for special needs youth with behavioural issues for Protega Homes of Edmonton, coordinating youth programs for the City of Edmonton and coaching youth personal development with the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Edmonton. Darrell was also a Youth Skills Instructor with Winnipeg School Division #1, and was a facilitator/instructor with Frank Olson’s internationally recognized Street Proofing Our Kids (S.P.O.K. Inc) program in Vancouver. Darrell also brought 14 years of front line work experience in Federal Corrections at Stony Mountain Penitentiary. During that time he was involved in security, case management, recreation, and was a member of the Dog Unit,and the Emergency Response Team.
Darrell has given numerous presentations, lectures and Keynotes for various companies and schools including TEDX, Communicating Power Inc. of Edmonton, Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), Saskatoon Tribal Council, Saskatoon Public School Division, Frontier College, Saskatoon Health Region, Ignite Art Conference – Toronto, Green Economic Conference – Indigenous Peoples Program, Tags Anti- Graffiti National Conference, and the University of Saskatchewan.
Due to SCYAP’s well known success, Darrell was sought out by the Government of Canada’s Department of Heritage, the Laidlaw Foundation, McMaster, McGill and York Universities for consultation on “best practices” for youth engagement. Darrell’s information was used in Policy making for granting of funds through the Federal Government as well as for content in a text book for the above mentioned universities. In addition to this, researchers from the Ministry of Culture for the Province of Ontario contacted SCYAP for “best practices and strategies in engaging youth in arts, sports and leadership”, to be used in a major Ontario governmental report called “Routes of Violence Review”. As well representatives from cities across Canada, and from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis – St. Paul in the United States of America, contacted Darrell to learn about developing a project such as SCYAP’s Urban Canvas and linking youth to community economic development.
In 2005 the government of Saskatchewan honoured Darrell for his work with SCYAP by presenting him with the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to society and honours outstanding achievements.
In 2006 the City of Saskatoon and CTV Television selected Darrell as one of Saskatoon’s “100 People 100 Reasons”. A city centennial honour given to one hundred people who have made Saskatoon a better place to live.
Darrell was asked by the Canadian Urban Institute in Toronto to join Giles Bugailiskis (chief advisor to Winnipeg City Council), Kevin Stolarick (Research Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute) and Peter Stoicheff (President of the University of Saskatchewan) to form a four person advisory Board for a major initiative that involves a proposed Cultural Plan for the City of Saskatoon.
During Darrell’s tenure SCYAP was recognized with the Lieutenant Governors Art Award for innovation in the Arts, and the National EVA Award for innovative programming for the homeless.
Darrell was involved in numerous Saskatoon community initiatives including the following:
Boards and Committees:
* Saskatoon Housing First Task Force
*CIBC – National EVA Awards Review/Adjudication Committee – Saskatchewan Representative
*Saskatoon Health Region Community Grants Adjudication Committee
*RIC Aboriginal Employment Strategy Steering Committee
*National Learning Committee for Youth Homelessness – Saskatchewan Representative
*City of Saskatoon Community Support Officers Advisory Committee
*Community University Institute for Social Research Review Committee
*Aboriginal Human Resource Council Workforce Connex Advisory Committee
*People for Action against Homelessness
*Premiers Project Hope
*Saskatoon Communities for Children
*Saskatoon Mediation Service’s Consultation Committee
*STC Urban First Nations Youth Detox Centres
*Caswell Community Association
*Caswell Art in Park Committee
*Canadian University Institute for Social Research
*Injection Drug Use Stakeholders Committee
*U of S Health Sciences Interdisciplinary Population Health Project Preceptor/Mentor
*Families against Meth
*Flicks Film Festival Stakeholders
*Saskatchewan Literacy Network
*CNYC Advisory Committee for the Rebuild
In the fall of 2016 Darrell stepped back from his role as director of SCYAP.