Circle of Courage displayed at Restorative Justice Week!

WEGraham Student Mosaic displayed by Nelson City Police for Restorative Justice Week!

This year Nelson Police Department restorative justice celebrates Restorative Justice Week in collaboration with Kutenai Art Therapy Institute with An Art Show for Social Justice: Exploring Restorative Practice. Join an evening of artwork, community and connection at 191 Baker St. (second floor) in Nelson on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Correction Services Canada’s restorative justice division proclaims the third week in November to focus on the important work being done by restorative justice practitioners and advocates in communities across Canada.

A grass-roots, non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships, RJ is a philosophy that emphasizes healing in victims, accountability of offenders, and the involvement of citizens.

Volunteer RJ practitioners bring together those who have been affected by crime, those who are responsible for the harm, their respective supporters and other stakeholders into a conference designed to empower all participants to share their experience and explore ways to repair the harm. A resolution agreement is carefully drafted based on the collaborative efforts of all participants.

Through restorative justice, a unique understanding about harm and its impact on individuals and the community is gained. Victims are central to the process. They are supported to express their needs and concerns. Offenders are supported to take responsibility for their actions and to work to heal the harm.

Nelson Police Department Restorative Justice is funded by the City of Nelson, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and community sponsors.

Slocan students contribute mosaic

Friday’s event will feature a six foot mosaic art piece by W.E. Graham Elementary students.

Great Acts are Made up of Small Deeds is a collaborative art project created by the Slocan school’s Grade 3/4/5/6 class and certified trauma practitioner Roxanne MacKay and Winlaw artist Sherry Heyliger.

Great Acts are Made up of Small Deeds embodies the core principles of the Circle of Courage model of youth development based on the principles of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This experiential art project engaged students in the creative process while anchoring the very principles that are represented in the finished art piece.

Installed with their mosaic are sweet, written words by the students as they shared very honest, meaningful examples of times when they used restorative practice to fix their mistakes.

The main principles of the Circle of Courage model are based on the Medicine Wheel and developed by Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg, and Van Bockern (1990). The model integrates Indigenous philosophies of child rearing, the heritage of education and youth work, and contemporary resilience research. The model is inclusive for all people, of all ages, who live in community with others, not just educational sites.

This project was supported by a Creative Spark grant disbursed by ArtStarts in Schools and funded by the Province of British Columbia and the BC Arts Council.

The W.I.L.D program at W.E. Graham is a Grade 3/4/5/6 multi-age class. W.I.L.D stands for Wilderness Intermediate Leadership Development. The class uses the Circle of Courage to weave virtues of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity into every activity. It focuses on leadership skills and creating meaningful relationships with each other, our community, and the land we live on.

One of the most important practices in W.I.L.D is sitting together in a circle every day, in order to connect, reflect, share ourselves, and recognize significant or meaningful moments experienced throughout the school day.

Roxanne MacKay graduated with a bachelor of education from Vancouver Island University in 2011 and has been integral in the development of the W.I.L.D program in Slocan. She completed her advanced trauma practitioner certification through Starr Commonwealth (Reclaiming Youth International), and uses the Circle of Courage in her daily teaching practice. She is passionate about character education, social justice education, restorative practice and creating trauma sensitive spaces.

Sherry Heyliger is a multimedia artist that sees movement and magic in the everyday. She has been showcased at the Women’s Art Museum of Canada, ARTBOX NYC, NDAC’s Appetite for Art, Luna Nocturnal Art Festival, Castlegar, Nelson and Arrow Lakes Fine Art Guild’s 2019 Artwalks, the Keyano Gallery in Fort MacMurray and the Hidden Garden Gallery in New Denver.