Looking back and celebrating as we powerfully move forward into 2023!
Restorative Collective Vancouver and Becoming a Restorative City!
We applaud the Restorative Collective Vancouver – an impressive team of diverse voices and wisdom from Indigenous-led organizations, service providers including for youth, seniors and women, LGBTQ2S+, Parks & Recreation, schools, policing, community corrections, business associations and more.
The Collective is evolving and growing
Peace of the Circle is proud to be the host organization with Dr. Evelyn Zellerer as the Coordinator. Visit our webpage to see current participants and learn more!
Highlights of our journey this past year…
Motion Passed! Partnering with the City
The Restorative Collective Vancouver came to a consensus to work toward becoming a Restorative City.
We are grateful to Councillor Michael Wiebe who put forward a motion to City Council that passed at the end of January 2022!
We thank all the speakers and supporters who helped make this possible.
Vancouver is the first city in Canada to commit to becoming a Restorative City!
We are grateful to the City for providing initial funding so the Restorative Collective can develop a framework.
We are creating a relational, holistic, decolonizing approach to resolving conflict, harm and crime.
Vancouver, like many cities, faces multiple crises and we are collaboratively moving toward healing, safety, justice and peace.
We trust the new Mayor & Council will continue to support and fund this crucial work to fill a huge gap.
Vancouver is the only municipality in the lower mainland to not have a community restorative justice program.
Restorative justice has proven to be effective.
Gillian Lindquist, Executive Director, Restorative Justice Victoria, was one of the speakers at City Council in support of the motion and initiative.
Gillian provides incredible statistics:
100% of victims who went through their program in the last four years would recommend restorative justice to others.
Building Relations, Learning and Co-Creating
Restorative Collective Vancouver meets monthly to build relations, learn, vision and strategically collaborate. Dr. Evelyn Zellerer facilitates meetings using a peace circle process; we make decisions by consensus.
- Thank you to Sioned Dyer, Executive Director, North Shore Restorative Justice Society, who gave a presentation to the Restorative Collective at one of our meetings.
- We have the pleasure of also learning with Jenna Forbes, Executive Director, Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services Society, who provided a presentation and has joined the Collective.
We honour the uniqueness of Indigenous justice and continue to explore the relationship between Indigenous and restorative justice.
We have committed to decolonizing. Our journey includes learning what that means as an active practice as well as learning about Indigenous teachings and ways.
The Restorative Collective was honoured to participate in a sweatlodge ceremony guided by Rick Lavallee on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) territory.
The sacred ceremony was a profound experience for each of us. We were brought closer together through sharing our hearts, prayers and vulnerability.
Peace Circles Training
The Restorative Collective requested Peace Circles training and Dr. Evelyn Zellerer was thrilled to facilitate a two-day Fundamentals course for the group in September.
There was so much to discuss, learn and experience with such amazing, wise people engaging in deep work. We chose to incorporate Peace Circles as a core approach going forward.
The Restorative Collective is creating a framework for what a restorative city means for us in Vancouver.
As 2022 came to a close, representatives from 20 organizations gathered for a visioning session.
Our brainstorming was captured by a brilliant Indigenous graphic recorder, Michelle Buchholz.
Restorative Cities around the World
We were invited by the Working Group on Restorative Cities, European Forum for Restorative Justice, to contribute to a joint writing initiative with other practitioners developing restorative cities around the world.
Vancouver is the latest city to commit to this aspiration, and the first city in Canada!
Stay tuned for the forthcoming publication, ‘A Journey Around Restorative Cities in the World: A Travel Guide‘. It includes a chapter written by Dr. Evelyn Zellerer and Norm Leech featuring our Vancouver initiative.
International Restorative Justice Week
Thank you for the tremendous interest!
You can learn about restorative justice with many resources on our website.
We continue celebrating and promoting the diverse ways restorative approaches are implemented and look forward to RJ Week 2023 with you!
Ways to Work with Peace of the Circle:
Training, Facilitation and Presentations
We are grateful and privileged to work with incredible people in a variety of spaces and places, such as:
workplaces, justice systems, schools, communities and Indigenous Nations.
United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising
Dr. Evelyn Zellerer was honoured to be invited by the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising to facilitate peace circles training. There are six Anishinaabe First Nations of Mnidoo Mnis – ‘Spirit Island’. It is a beautiful, special place; also known as Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
We thank the Elders, adults and youth for participating and sharing their wisdom. We are delighted to learn together and contribute to the further growth of their justice programs.
Southern Gulf Islands Community Justice Program
This justice program serves four Gulf islands – Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna in British Columbia. They have a special place in our heart!
Dr. Evelyn Zellerer was happy to return this year to facilitate our second level Peace Circles: Deeper Dive training.
This fabulous group dove in with open hearts and shared wisdom.
If you ever experience an issue, conflict or crime on these islands reach out to them!
Sea to Sky School District
With the lifting of the pandemic, we are thrilled to beback working with schools!
A subgroup from the Sea to Sky School District team came together with facilitator Dr. Evelyn Zellerer to reconnect, continue our learning and strategically plan next steps.
We applaud this school district for recommitting to a whole-school and whole-district approach in embracing restorative approaches and peace circles!
It is inspiring to see Circles implemented in classrooms and for various conflicts, issues and harm. This is an ongoing journey that we look forward to sharing.
Check out our blog post, “Education: Time for Change“, that offers a ton of resources.
Facilitating Anti-Racism Work
What and how we communicate and show up matters.
We need to work together to learn about and unlearn racism, oppression and colonialism.
And we require brave spaces where all our differences can be respectfully shared, discussed and contribute to change.
We applaud the courage of participants for coming together to have difficult conversations about racism within a community in conflict and experiencing harm (who will be unnamed for confidentiality).
While our Circle dialogue uncovered good intentions, there were still harmful impacts of behaviour.
“It’s been so beneficial to have an open conversation.
As a circle, we set an example”- participant
Restorative Justice Association of British Columbia
Dr. Evelyn Zellerer is pleased to be a Board Member of the provincial RJ ABC.
Our retreat in 2022 was a huge success. We’re implementing ourfirst strategic plan in advancing restorative justice in the province.
This picture shows we survived and can have fun while strategic planning!
Engaging with Community
Beyond diverse professional engagements, we value participating in and learning from a wide variety of cultures and communities that invite us to do so.
It’s been another rich year of participating in events, including Indigenous ceremonies, immigrant cultural gatherings, artistic shows, action-oriented gatherings around climate change, saving old-growth forests and biodiversity.
We are grateful for all who contribute to making this world a better place. Engaging in diverse cultural, environmental and social communities informs our perspectives and ways of showing up in our work, as well as creates beautiful connections.
– William Butler Yeats
Our Team is Growing!
We are excited to welcome new members to Peace of the Circle. Appreciating the much needed support to keep up with all the great work and elevate our efficiency, reach and impact.
Erin Leckie is our new Operations Manager.
And we have partnered with PowHERhouse, an Indigenous-owned social impact organization, to be more hands at our back and lead us on communications, hiring Tina Overbury, Zoe Gray and Heather Murphy.
Read about our team on our website, and stay tuned for future opportunities if it piques your interest.
“I am grateful for the gifts this exciting year brought and co-creating with phenomenal leaders.
It is powerful to gather in Circle – virtually and especially in person again outside of our zoom boxes!
My deep love to you.”
– Dr. Evelyn Zellerer, Founder & Director