The Restoring Circles Collective is mobilizing Transformative Justice in the inner city of Vancouver in a 3 year social innovation project, on the unsurrendered territories of the  xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This project began in 2013 with an Indigenous-Ally collaboration group where we asked: “How do we end the cycles of violence?” and  “How do we work together as human beings?

The outcome is an Indigenous-Ally collaboration network that’s coaching up skills, tools, and partnerships to build circles of belonging, place, witnessing, co-creation and leadership in the inner city. The Restoring Circles Collective asked me to write the curriculum based on our 4 years of community consultation, and be Director.

In monthly workshops, inner city front-line staff and leaders collaborate tools for social transformation, reconciliation, and conflict resolution. The curriculum bridges Indigenous principles of respect, responsibility, and reciprocity, with Indigenous-sourced, evidence-based therapeutic coaching models. Alongside, we build community-accessible Peacemaking Circles to address community, relationship, family and inter-cultural violence, in 10 Circles for 10 years… to start.

The project empowers front-line Coaches with tools for restorative talking circles; non-violent conflict resolution; trauma-informed somatics; witnessing and interdependent, full-person reciprocity; narrative therapy & identity gifting; weaving belonging in collective Circle process; Reconciliation and Allyship; and cultural hands-on, ritual protocols and spiritual place-making.

The project takes relationship-based development, systems tools and intercultural collaboration, and turns it into social innovation for active reconciliation networks.

Interview exploring Allyship and relationship-based development, on SFU’s Community Engagement blog:

“Limitless”. Project artwork by NokaTsi Corey Larocque.