November 19 and 20, 2010 was A.R.J.A.'s 4th Annual Restorative Justice Conference. It was, in our opinion a great success with a wonderful host of partners.Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security, Edmonton Restorative Justice Network, Grant MacEwan University, Mustard Seed Edmonton, Office of Social Justice, Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
Fairview Community Restorative Justice ( FCRJ) was fortunate enough to have financial support from Fairview & District Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) for our Volunteer Facilitators to receive training and network at this years conference.
Fairview Community Restorative Justice FCRJ has expanded its program to include school and community referrals. This training was a valued asset to our volunteer facilitators and Coordinator. We would like to express our gratitude to FCSS for its support.
Our Circle Training with Kay Pranis was an experience in itself as Kay uses the circle as the tool to train facilitators in the circle process. We learned the meaning of circles, values and philosophys of circle practice, circle rituals, structure of the circle process and the role of Facilitators.
Kay Pranis is an independent trainer and facilitator for peacemaking circles. Kay has been involved in the development of circle processes in criminal justice, schools, neighborhoods, families and the workplace.
The Keynotes were VAL NAPOLEON LL.B., Ph.D. (Law) and PIERRE ALLARD D.D. ( Doctor of Divinity)
Val Napoleon is of Cree heritage and an associate professor with the University of Alberta teaching in the faculties of native studies and law. She publishes and teaches in areas of aboriginal legal issues, indigenous legal traditions, indigenous feminism, oral histories, restorative justice, and governance.
Pierre Allard has been part of Correctional Service of Canada for over 30 years. He served as Chaplain, Director of chaplaincy and Assistant Commissioner. This work together with his own personal experiences of dealing with the murder of his brother has lead Dr. Allard to a commitment to restorative justice.
Workshop presentation were titled;
Transforming Relationships: A Victim/Offender Story
Restorative Practices in the Aboriginal Community: Gayle Desmeules
The Journey Home: Walking With Offenders from Incarceration to Community: Kris Knutson
Restorative Justice and the International Scene: Dr. Pierre Allard
Creating Cohesive Connections: Betty Lynn-Benson and Darcie James
Living Restoratively: Kay Pranis
Growing A Restorative Culture In Schools: Caroline Missal, Nina Wyrastok, Sunita Sas and Christine Guillon
Faith Traditions as Resources for Restorative Justice : Judge Dossa, Rev. Don Stoesz and Elder Dave
The conference was a great learning opportunity with so many different aspects and viewpoints of the process shown.
The gift and power of the restorative process is always in the stories. This conference gave us opportunities to hear from the victims, the offenders, the families, the community and the stakeholders. When people are given an opportunity to have their voice heard and others are willing to heal the harms, the whole community benefits.
FCRJ is grateful to have taken part in such a conference and look forward to what next years conference has to offer.