Sourcing of these Discovery Items is Supported by NED Foundation

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    Truth-telling has been key to restoring trust and repairing relationships in post-conflict settings around the world. Historical truth-telling is increasingly seen as an important part of restorative justice in settler-colonial contexts.


    Non-Indigenous Australians need to actively seek the truth about past violence and injustice against Indigenous Australians.

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    Video (perhaps related to Restorative Practice)

    The Work That Reconnects is informed by Deep Ecology, systems thinking, Gaia theory, and spiritual traditions (especially Buddhist and indigenous teachings), as well as group wisdom from earlier workshops. Common to all of these is a non-linear view of reality. It illuminates the mutuality at play in self-organizing systems, and unleashes the power of reciprocity. Furthermore, central to our use of systems thinking and the Buddha Dharma is the recognition that self-reflexive consciousness is a function of choice-making. Whatever the limitations of our life, we are still free to choose which version of reality –or story about our world– we value and want to serve. We can choose to align with business as usual , the unraveling of living systems, or the creation of a life-sustaining society.

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    Notes for an address by The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, PC, QC, MP Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, September 13, 2018

    Extract: The first initiative is expanding the use of restorative justice, which emphasizes repairing the relationship between the victim and the offender. Restorative justice is focused more on collaboration and inclusivity, and is often more culturally relevant and responsive to specific communities. Victims have a powerful voice, and this process allows them to be heard and to heal, while at the same time, holding the offender accountable for their actions.

    In this sense, I sometimes view restorative justice as acting as a kind of “circuit-breaker” from the cycle that so many find themselves caught in. While restorative justice has been part of Canada’s criminal justice system for over 40 years, and has proven effective over that period, it is still not widely available across the country.

    A 2011 Department of Justice Canada report found that Indigenous people who completed a community-based alternative to mainstream justice, such as restorative justice, were significantly less likely to re-offend than those who did not. I am committed to expanding this resource so it can be more widely used and accepted across the country.

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    In my conversations with other educators, there is usually confusion around the definition of restorative practices due to the common emphasis placed on restorative justice, which focuses on repairing relationships when harm has occurred as an alternative to punitive approaches to discipline. In contrast, restorative practices focus on not only repairing, but also building and strengthening relationships and social connections within communities.

    The mainstream conception of restorative justice is credited to Howard Zehr and is thought to have originated within the criminal justice system in the 1970s. However, a 2017 report from the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, notes the growing demand from the field that practitioners acknowledge many of the values and practices of restorative justice come directly from Indigenous communities in North America and across the globe.

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    'The foundational principles of the transformative justice model “come from indigenous teachings,” which say that “we are interconnected, that everyone has a space and that when harm happens it’s because there is something that needs to be repaired as opposed to something that needs to be extracted from the community,”'

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    'Whereas communities, activists, scholars, and scientists have primarily focused most of their energies into developing laws and making policies that identify, recognize, regulate, condemn or punish actors of ecocide, corporations or other authors that perpetuate environmental crime and harms, many have started recognizing the value and potential of restorative responses to these problems, especially the alignment of a restorative philosophy that is embedded in indigenous justice and environmental justice. In whatever version it comes, the restorative justice perspective is driven essentially by the principles of participation, harm reparation and healing, principles that must be central in conceiving environmental justice.'

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    'The key insight for me from Afghanistan is the way in which the language of restorative justice is being used to advance debates about the relationship between traditional and Islamic justice traditions and the state justice system. Discussions about how to connect the modern state institutions of justice, being rapidly built since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, with indigenous institutions such as jirgas, shuras, and other councils of elders where predominantly respected men sit in a circle to resolve disputes, have gained momentum in the past decade. '

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    Restorative Practice is about creating and nurturing meaningful and just relationships. Rooted in Indigenous traditions and thinking, Restorative Practice helps us recognise our inherent connections to one another and our communities. Good quality relationships between students, teachers, school leadership and other staff humanise the classroom and help create an effective learning environment. Restorative Practice is a way of being, thinking, interacting, teaching and learning – with relationships at the centre of all we do, every day.


    The website for those curious about Restorative Practice in Australian schools

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    According to Julia Wade, Ed.D., associate director of restorative practices, restorative justice processes are guided by three questions: What happened? Who is affected? How and what can be done to repair the harm?

    Modern restorative justice practices originate from various African and indigenous traditions of “sitting in a circle, telling stories, sharing wisdom, making decisions that a group needs to make and … addressing harm or holding people accountable if something has happened in the community," said Wade.


    Rooted in African and indigenous practices, Restorative Justice Week centers around victims instead of perpetrators, working to repair harm and build community ties.

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    On Tuesday, November 21st, NACRJ hosted an online Circle in recognition of Restorative Justice Week. Commencing with insights and perspectives from several Indigenous community members, the event proceeded with participants forming small groups of 8-10 individuals, each group supported by a Circle Keeper. Together, they reflected on a set of guiding questions.

    The event brought together people from across the country and, true to the nature of Circle, the process fostered connections and drew out pearls of wisdom from each participant. As part of Restorative Justice Week, we share with you the reflection questions that guided these meaningful conversations:

    1. Restorative justice and many Indigenous teachings emphasize the importance of relationships and connection. How can each of us work toward a more connected and harmonious world even in the presence of our diverse backgrounds and lived experiences?

    2. How might embracing a restorative justice or Indigenous worldview, emphasizing relationships, connection, balance, and restoration, strengthen your personal life, family, community, or the broader world? Are there places within your own life or broader world that could benefit from this type of approach right now?

    3. What personal practices do you have, or might consider trying, that reflect your commitment to restorative justice principles (e.g., connection, balance, restoration)?

    4. Reflect on the aspects of your life that provide a sense of meaning and purpose. How do these elements contribute to your ability to stay hopeful and balanced even when things in your life or the world feel overwhelming, complex, or challenging?