This Restorative Justice Life

38. Relationships First in Restorative Justice Education w/ Dorothy Vaandering

June 10, 2021 David Ryan Castro-Harris Season 1 Episode 38
This Restorative Justice Life
38. Relationships First in Restorative Justice Education w/ Dorothy Vaandering
Chapters
This Restorative Justice Life
38. Relationships First in Restorative Justice Education w/ Dorothy Vaandering
Jun 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 38
David Ryan Castro-Harris

Dr. Dorothy Vaandering has been an educator for 20 years. She works to connect theory and practice in her current role as researcher and teacher-educator designing and implementing innovative, transformative professional development approaches built on the principles and practices of restorative justice. Most recently she is challenged by the realities of colonization past and present, and working to understand reconciliation as a settler-Canadian. 

You will meet Dorothy (0:55) and hear a conversation about indigenous roots (5:17). She explains how she got started (15:03) and what justice is/the importance of implementation (25:25). She discusses transformative and restorative justice (42:01) and the role of white people in restorative justice(1:03:12). Finally she answers closing questions (1:12:46) and Elyse offers reflections (1:22:48).

Make sure to subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Check out Dorothy’s work:
Website: https://www.relationshipsfirstnl.com/ 

Implementation Guide:
Presentation on Radical Love or Recolonization https://youtu.be/f7FaThGvFoo
Conversation with Skye Bowen, Kathy Evans, Sheryl Wilson on Interrogating Whiteness https://youtu.be/wtqYevWy4G8 

Get your copy of:
“The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education”
And “Changing Lenses” 

Watch clips of the podcast: http://youtube.com/c/amplifyrj
See all our workshops and courses at http://amplifyrj.com/learn
Future Ancestor Collective (Community Gatherings): http://tiny.cc/ARJcommunity
Rep Amplify RJ Gear at http://amplifyrj.threadless.com 

You can connect with Amplify RJ:

Email list: http://tiny.cc/ARJemail
Instagram: http://instagram.com/amplify.rj
Facebook: http://facebook.com/amplifyrj
Twitter: http://twitter.com/amplifyrj
Website: http://amplifyrj.com
Reading list: http://amplifyrj.com/reading-list

Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Dorothy Vaandering has been an educator for 20 years. She works to connect theory and practice in her current role as researcher and teacher-educator designing and implementing innovative, transformative professional development approaches built on the principles and practices of restorative justice. Most recently she is challenged by the realities of colonization past and present, and working to understand reconciliation as a settler-Canadian. 

You will meet Dorothy (0:55) and hear a conversation about indigenous roots (5:17). She explains how she got started (15:03) and what justice is/the importance of implementation (25:25). She discusses transformative and restorative justice (42:01) and the role of white people in restorative justice(1:03:12). Finally she answers closing questions (1:12:46) and Elyse offers reflections (1:22:48).

Make sure to subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Check out Dorothy’s work:
Website: https://www.relationshipsfirstnl.com/ 

Implementation Guide:
Presentation on Radical Love or Recolonization https://youtu.be/f7FaThGvFoo
Conversation with Skye Bowen, Kathy Evans, Sheryl Wilson on Interrogating Whiteness https://youtu.be/wtqYevWy4G8 

Get your copy of:
“The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education”
And “Changing Lenses” 

Watch clips of the podcast: http://youtube.com/c/amplifyrj
See all our workshops and courses at http://amplifyrj.com/learn
Future Ancestor Collective (Community Gatherings): http://tiny.cc/ARJcommunity
Rep Amplify RJ Gear at http://amplifyrj.threadless.com 

You can connect with Amplify RJ:

Email list: http://tiny.cc/ARJemail
Instagram: http://instagram.com/amplify.rj
Facebook: http://facebook.com/amplifyrj
Twitter: http://twitter.com/amplifyrj
Website: http://amplifyrj.com
Reading list: http://amplifyrj.com/reading-list

David (he/him):

This restorative justice life is a production of amplify RJ. Follow us on all social media platforms at amplify RJ. Sign up for our email list and check out our website at amplifyRJ.com to stay up to date on everything we have going on. Make sure you subscribe to this feed on whatever platform you're listening on right now so you don't miss an episode. Finally, we'd love it if you left us a rating and review. It really helps us literally amplify this work. Thanks for listening. Enjoy the episode. Welcome to this restorative justice life. The podcast that explores how the philosophy practices and values of restorative justice apply to our everyday lives. I'm your host, David Ryan Garcia Castro Harris, all five names for the ancestors, and I'm the founder of amplify RJ. On this podcast I talk with RJ practitioners, circle keepers and others doing this work about how this way of being has impacted their lives. Welcome to this restorative justice life Dorothy, who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I I am I'm Dorothy Diana Vaandering.

David (he/him):

Who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I am a settler Canadian. With European Dutch colonizing roots. I now live in Cooch Cove, Newfoundland. The first community to see the sun in North America. But I also am living on stolen land from the Migma and the Biothic who and the Biothic. Yeah, have essentially been wiped out from our land. And I also acknowledge that our province Newfoundland and Labrador is are the ancestral homelands of the inuin and the inuit as well. In Labrador.

David (he/him):

Who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I am the daughter of Garritan Dini Grievers, two people who immigrated to Ontario just after they got married. In 1948. They were passionate about doing their best to raise seven children. I'm the fifth of seven.

David (he/him):

Who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I'm passionate. I'm someone who's passionate about finding a better way to disagree. To find a better way to communicate with others, and a better way to understand interconnectedness.

David (he/him):

Who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I am someone who has been married for 41 years to my artist husband, Gerald. And we live and grapple with life together every morning over a cup of tea and a muffin.

David (he/him):

Who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I'm also the mother of two adult children now, who came to us in really a miraculous way. And they have challenged me to understand unconditional love.

David (he/him):

Finally, who are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I every day I reflect on the fact that I am the child of a loving creator. I'm a hiker, a gardener a canoer, a lover of rocks and trees and running water.

David (he/him):

Well, thank you so much for being with us. Dorothy. It is so good to have you here.

Elyse (she/her):

Hey folks, I'm Elyse, your producer and welcome to this restorative justice life. today. We are welcoming Dorothy Vaandering as our guest. Dorothy has been an educator for over 20 years. She always works to connect theory and practice and her current role as a researcher and teacher designing and implementing innovative and transformative professional development based on the practices of restorative justice. Most recently, she is challenged by the realities of colonization past and present and working to understand reconciliation as a settler Canadian. In this episode, you'll hear a lot about her experience, especially in transformative justice, restorative justice, and honoring indigenous roots. But before we get into this episode, don't forget to check out our future ancestor collective and all of our workshops and courses. All of the information that you need below for these opportunities is linked in the show notes. If you ever want to hear more from amplify RJ's This Restorative Justice life podcast, make sure to check out our YouTube channel where we are posting clips of this very podcast so that you can see these important people in action as they tell their stories. On that note, let's get back to Dorothy's story.

David (he/him):

It's always good to check in so to the fullest extent of the question or however much you want to answer. How are you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Wow. That's, that's a loaded question. I've been writing in a journal recently, and in a few emails with people that my mind and my heart are, are in a place of discomfort and a place of where I can't keep my thoughts straight. I think that's particular because this week in Canada, and that's also a global concern. The, the mass grave of 215 children was identified in Kamloops BC. And in the past years, I've been grappling with my identity as a settler Canadian and my responsibility in terms of a past life of colonization by my ancestors, but the potential and the reality of recolonization that's happening today. And so as somebody who is not indigenous, I'm really grappling to understand what it must be like to be indigenous, and grapple with something that has always been known by their communities that many children lost their lives in these schools. But I'm, I'm really grappling to know how to respond and how to walk with people who are who have been harmed. So, so extensively. So how am I it's a beautiful sunny day here. And it's so tempting to just celebrate all of that. But there's a real heaviness in in, in me.

David (he/him):

Yeah, and two things can definitely be true at once, right? There, there is so much beauty in the midst of enormous pain, and, and sadness. And I'm not indigenous to Turtle Island, either, right? And so the things that people who are indigenous, both indigenous to the land that we know called BC, and just this this land in general, right? Like, I don't immediately relate to that as well, right? As someone who is black, and is someone who is Filipino of Filipino descent, right. Part of my identity is a settler of immigrant right on this continent. And then I don't think you can qualify black people as settlers, because my ancestors didn't come here by choice. It's a tough thing where like, in a lot of ways I feel disconnected from this land, right? Because this is not the home of my ancestors. And like, what is my responsibility here, as someone who now has made home, the ancestral land out of the Kiche bomba people right here, just outside of Los Angeles, and while residential schools that, like residential schools still exist, right? Yeah, that system still exists, at least here in the United States. And I don't know all of the history of what that's looked like in Canada. I've observed from afar that y'all have done a little bit better job than we have at acknowledging how, how messed up things have been. But I mean, there's still a long way to go. I was reading a while ago, the Indigenous People's History of the United States, right? And you see over and over and over and over. And so when I say reading, I was listening to it right. And the way I listened to audiobooks is I'm often like, bingeing them just like I would listen to a podcast and when you binge a book like that, and hear the stories of first genocide, right, then like, oh, some kind of Treaty, then like, y'all get this land over here, then like, oh, note, we're reneging on that agreement. And then we're gonna take this land again, killing 1000s millions more people in the process, and the like, Oh, nope. Here's this treaty. Like, you get this little land. And that process has happened over and over for generations. And now to the point where, you know, forced assimilation has been a part of this colonial project often through, right, those residential schooling programs, and we're still feeling the effects of those now, right? We're talking about things that have happened in my lifetime. Right? And, you know, I'm 30 years old, but like, that's not. That's not that long ago. And so like, I often talked about, you know, when we're doing restorative justice work, part of it like in Amplify Rj, it's like, anti racism, abolition, and decolonization part of that decolonization is making sure that we're acknowledging where this work comes from, of course, right. But also like, what are the things that we're actively doing to return a sovereignty right to indigenous people? And that is not an overnight thing. Right. But like in our everyday moves, what is what is the thing? And I know like, this is not following the normal flow of our conversations. But you mentioned like, even in your work with Relationships First the organization that you're running, like, initially, you did not have buy in from indigenous folks from where you are, and how have you now navigated that?

Dorothy Vaandering:

it? Well, I just want to acknowledge what you shared, because it's it's incredibly complex. But at the same time, I often think it's way simpler than we, you know, I think we make it complex. And in terms of what we're doing with relationships, first, in our work here in Newfoundland, Labrador, you know what, I think in a lot of ways, I've been conscious of it for a long time. And like you said, we we haven't done it like we should have, like, we acknowledged the roots of restorative justice and, and a little book of restorative justice in education, you know, we dedicate it to those indigenous peoples who have, who have, you know, been resilient in maintaining these values, and these practices, but in a lot of ways, we're just at the very beginning of what that looks like. And so when we first began our organization, Relationships First, we did reach out to indigenous leaders here in the province. And we, we didn't get a solid response right away in terms of partnering with us and so on. And so then, because I felt like we just needed to get started with something, I thought we just need to start with the partners we have. And when I look back at that, now, I I'm sorry, we did. I actually am sorry, we did. Because though I feel like there was a real need for that, I don't think my skills were really strong in terms of reaching out, like I should have, or, or, or creating a better space for, for a relationship to develop. Now, we've learned a lot since then. And we're currently working on a project that is being led by indigenous leaders in the province in particular, I'm indebted to Cheif Nissile. Joe from the Alpicut First Nation. And I can share a little bit more about that later. But currently, we're working on a gathering for November, where we're inviting indigenous leaders and elders, from our province to lead Newfoundland and Labrador, into restorative justice in a good way. And I think, from my perspective, from what I understand, I think that's quite, quite new. Or quite that it's a unique response. But it's unique to who Newfoundland, Labrador is, right. And I mean, even something like, you know, I wish I was not using the words Newfoundland and Labrador, I wish I was using the indigenous terms for this land. And, you know, I acknowledge that when I try those words on my tongue, they don't flow off my tongue very well. And I'm afraid of not saying them properly. And so then I default to, you know, the English terms. So, if we're on that journey, and one of our key goals right now is to revise like our implementation guide. So that it is so that we work together with indigenous educators here to do a much better job of creating a guide that honors indigenous leadership.

David (he/him):

Yeah, and this is like the result of, you know, decades of your journey into restorative justice. I want to touch on some of the things that you you just shared. But let's go back, you've probably been doing this work in some way before you even knew the word restorative justice. in your own words, how did this journey get started for you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yes. And no. I would say, you know, because I often hear people will say, Yeah, but you know, we've been thinking these things for a long time, right? Even before we knew the term restorative justice. And I'll just go on record of saying, sure, I was interested in peace making and peacebuilding and education and conflict resolution in education. But it was through my stance and my lens that I was totally unaware of, at that time, not was about right and wrong, about black and white, about control, and the need to control. And so I, I actually would say that I haven't been doing this work for a long time, long time, in terms of it's been about 15 years, or maybe let me see when do I say, 2005, that I really started at that in a in a significant way. But it was a

David (he/him):

Well, I mean, that's like half my life ago.

Dorothy Vaandering:

I know. I know, I feel very, very old, I really do. But it was really transformative, because it forced me to look at how I was seeing the world. And I think it was the restorative justice framework that actually challenged me to understand that I have a pair of lenses that I look at the world through, and I credit, Howard Zehr, and just the title of his book, changing lenses, with challenging me to do that. And I was a primary elementary teacher for about 20 years before I started doing some curriculum writing and then got into my graduate work. And as a, as a primary elementary teacher, you're always trying to take ideas and concepts and make them make them concrete and real for for young children. And so when I started, in particular, my my study with restorative justice education, I kept doing that kept wanting to find ways to make the ideas, the concepts concrete. And so one of the ways I did that was by having my having myself create a pair of glasses with with frames where I wrote on the frames on the outside of the frames, who, who I am just like your your seven questions, you know who you are, in, in terms of what was kind of evident to people looking at me, but on the inside of the frames I, I wrote, you know, what are the groups I'm born into? What are you know, that might that have an incredible amount of influence on how I see the world, right? So that idea of changing lenses that Howard Zehr puts forward, really challenged me to think about what were the lenses I was wearing? And what did I need to take off? And what did I need to take on? And so that became us a very concrete metaphor in in my work, you know, yeah.

David (he/him):

What introduced you to his work?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I was introduced initially, to the work of restorative justice, education when my two sons were in elementary school, and Columbine happened in in Canada. A couple months later, Tabor happened where there was school shootings, as well. And then then all the schools in North America, I would say, kind of went into this mode of zero tolerance, right. And our school as well. And I was a teacher and part time, vice principal at the school that my children went to. And I had done a lot of work on peacemaking education and conflict resolution, up into that point. And we were training students to be peacemakers on the playground and we had a very peaceful school. Right. But when Columbine and Tabor happened, you know, our, our leadership just followed the zero tolerance route. And so suddenly, it was not appropriate anymore for children to touch each other on the playground. It was not appropriate for them to be, you know, kind of rambunctious and so my own children, two boys, they were getting four and seven, I guess at the time, and they, they started getting kicked out of school. Right. And, and they were, you know, they were energetic boys, but they were not malicious in any way. And they, you know, they would get kicked out for a day, if they pushed somebody on the playground, they would get kicked out if they, if they said something inappropriate to another person. And, and so my husband and I suddenly found ourselves at home with our, my husband was an artist working from home. So he found himself at home with the boys. And and we got progressively more and more frustrated, because we really saw it as a reflection on us as parents, and we were part of a close knit community, and we really felt for our sons. But we started to understand how them being kicked out of school. How much of an impact that had on them personally on each other as brothers on us as a family, on their relationship with their peers, on their relationship with the community and our relationship, like with my colleagues, with their teachers with, you know, my friends. And so after about the fourth or fifth time, my oldest was suspended. We I was talking to a friend who was involved in restorative justice in education, or not in education, restorative justice in criminal justice context, which was quite new at the time. And he gave me an article that was written by Ted Wachtell and Paul McCold on on restorative justice, I think it's one of the first ones that ever was described, it was a four pager, I read it, and I understood suddenly, what was missing in my approach to peace, making education, okay. And it then I started, and I started to use some of those practices. And everything changed in my classroom. And in our family, we started to apply some of the questions we started. But I started to realize that I was using them still to maintain my control as a parent, okay. And as a teacher, and lots of good things happened. But I started to realize that at the end of the day, it was still about me being in control, and not me being in a good relationship with my children or my students. Right. So that's how that started. And so I wanted to know what was going on that everything was changing. Right. And then I started to explore restorative justice more. And when I started my doctoral work, of course, then I had to dig deeper. And yeah, Howard Zehr was, you know, literature with some of the very early stuff that was written about restorative justice in the western faith based context.

David (he/him):

Yeah, we're gonna link the the talk that you gave a couple months back on radical love to recall or recolonisation in the description in the show notes. But one of the things that you talked about there really was this idea of like, have we just used the words quote, unquote, restorative justice to like, model control? Who were the people who helped you who helped challenge your thinking around that?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Ah, that's a really good question. I think I think that I was brought up short, in my passion for restorative justice quite early in my doctoral studies, when a colleague Lisa Fadden challenged me when I did a presentation I was so excited about, oh, you know, what this is, this is something that I was going to research. And so I introduced my, you know, six or seven PhD colleagues, to my work, and I showed a video clip and, I shared some of the key aspects that I had learned through some of the the professional learning and training I had gone through. And then. And then Lisa just looked at me, and she said, and we had been looking at research through a critical theory lens. Okay, and so critical theory. And it took me a long time to understand this. But critical theory, this is how I understand it is you Oh, you look at everything that's happening. And you ask yourself two questions, who's benefiting? And who's bearing the burden? Yeah. And so Lisa said to me, Dorothy, the adults are still benefiting, and it's the kids who are still bearing the burden. And I remember going, No, no, no. And I and I tried to explain it. And then I said, You're right. Okay. And that was, that was my first kind of where I was confronted. But it was also where I really had to examine how restorative justice and how it was being interpreted could cause harm and often was causing harm. And that's also where it became much more interested in the etymology of justice. Like what exactly do we mean when we use the term justice, but also then began to be introduced to some of the ideas of the indigenous roots through the work of Kay Pranis and Barry Stewart and Margaret Wedge and so on. Right?

David (he/him):

Yeah, absolutely. Can you go into the etymology of the word justice? Because when I think of justice, in like, if you look it up in the dictionary, it's all about the law. How have you learned about the origins of the word?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Good question. I think, you know, my early introduction, Introduction to a more holistic way of thinking about justice came as a child, when, in my church context, we remember we memorized the Micah 6:verse eight, what does God require of you to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. And, and that was a passage that always sat with me. And so when, when I started to get introduced to restorative justice, and it kept talking about crime, and the judicial system, I kept going, there's got to be more, there's got to be more. And that's where I really started to explore Howard zehrs work where he has a whole chapter on Shalom, and justice and justice is about ultimately a way of being, you know, that ensures that everybody is well, that everybody lives in peace. And then as I dug deeper, Nicholas Walterstorff work expects blank explains justice, in through primary justice and secondary justice, where primary justice well, ultimately that that justice works around core beliefs, and the core beliefs being that all people are worthy. And all people are interconnected. Right. And that primary justice is about nurturing worth and interconnectedness and secondary justice then is about reestablishing worth and connectedness when harm is done. And that made a lot of sense to me. Right. And at that point, I believe very strongly that we could not drop the term justice so I know that there are many people working in restorative justice, that talk about restorative practices, restorative approaches, and so on. But I, I feel very, very strongly that it's important to hang on to the term justice, because justice in in that holistic sense, is the pivotal point for understanding how to live, right. But in our westernized society, we basically co opted the word justice, right. However, I always ask this question, what is it about restorative justice that we always immediately default to the judicial system? But when we talk about social justice, we don't do that? Like, like, why, why can we talk about social justice and know that we're not talking about the judicial system? Well, social justice, social justice, is really that primary justice, how do we nurture? And so when we're talking about restorative justice, from my perspective, what is being restored? Is not the relationship necessarily, that's not first and foremost, what it's about. restorative justice is about restoring the dignity and the worth of the people or the environment, even that they're a part of, right, or the institution that they're a part of, like, you know, how do we, how do we restore dignity and worth that is often robbed, from people or the environment?

David (he/him):

When we have a system that's built on, like, let's talk about the school system, right, restorative justice education, we have a system that is built on producing workers, right, like, What is there to restore there?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Um, well, I'm not much.

David (he/him):

Okay.

Dorothy Vaandering:

In fact,

David (he/him):

so so yeah. So like, what are we doing?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Right? So in fact, I mean, you know, last summer is, you know, Black Lives Matter movement, and the whole thing of dismantling police systems and stuff like that, that was really challenging, and it was really important, I think, right. And I think in a lot of ways, we do we do need to dismantle our current system. I just don't...The approach that I'm taking though is not how do we dismantle without causing complete chaos? And so I, I'm not sure. And maybe it's naive on my part, or maybe it's just a lack of courage. But I often think that there is potential to change things from within. But at the end of the day, at a certain point, there has to be a dismantling of the framework that causes harm. And so that's why I think restorative justice and education, that holistic sense of it is so important, right? Because unless there's a framework that can replace the current framework, we're not going to do it, because then we're just going to be co opted by the framework or the value system or the belief structure that is currently in place. So that's why you know, the work that Kathy Evans and I do and that we've shared in the little book of restorative justice education is primarily about what is the framework that you're working out of, and I know that Kay Pranis and Karen Boiswanson have done something very similar and there are others as well. You know, a Belinda Hopkins and Michelle Stoll, you know, they are they are working at this work through an understanding that that philosophical framework has to be addressed. But if in restorative justice, education, we can't articulate what that framework is, then we're not going there's it's not going to be sustainable, we would just be co opted.

David (he/him):

So when I talk about when I think about like dismantling something like the school to prison pipeline, right, Ruth Wilson Gilmore talks about how abolition is as much about creating life giving systems as much as it is dismissed. Right. And so like, I I don't know, right. I'm someone who has often said that, you know, restorative justice doesn't belong in schools dot dot dot institutionally, right? Because like the the goals of schools as an institution, and what restorative justice philosophy, ways of being frameworks are, are antithetical to each other. Right. And it is harm reductive, to have people who are working within those systems, pushing up against those and valuing relationships, valuing humans and doing what is right for not just the students, but like their, their peers, and the community around them, right. A lot of times we think about schools just as places where children go to learn, but there are also places where people go to work, they're also places where communities gather, they're also places where people get resources. So it's not... it is a lot of it is about the students and the young people, but there are other people who were impacted by the ways that we are in good relationship or not in good relationship with each other. And so when I think about this, like the work of amplify RJ right is to let people know, like what this is. And like, I haven't gotten to the place where I'm perscriptive about, like, this is what it should look like, in a lot of ways. It looks different for every community. But I think those those principles about what you're talking about, like human dignity, are important. And, you know, a lot of times I'm able to navigate systems where humans aren't valued. And, you know, we're, it's productivity over people, right? Well, because of the way that I've been socialized to a culture that has incentivized me to, we'll say, play the game. Yeah. Right. My parents, were people who were able to play the game very well, right, like both having higher education, degrees, and, you know, have been I'll say rewarded by by these by these systems. And so like, that's how I was brought up, but at what cost? Right? Who are we disconnected from? What are the relationships that we don't have, and I'm not someone who really experienced a lot of a lot of pain, going through the school system, and yet, even now, right? You know, however, many years after the fact, I look back and think about the ways that relationships, I can look back on some of those things fondly, and have like positive memories, but also look back at the way that like, relationships weren't valued, and being disconnected from the land and being disconnected from my history. And when we think about education, just as a vehicle to produce workers. Like, we really have to start questioning, like, what it is that we're trying to do, and it's easier for people to like, Oh, I'm gonna ask this restorative set of questions, right, like what happened who was affected? And, how can we make it right? It's easier for people to like, oh, like, we just have to ask this different set of questions and all our problems will be solved than it is to have this paradigm shift of how are we preparing? How are we creating an environment where, you know, people are inherently valued for their dignity, and are being prepared to grow in the ways that one they want to grow in, and that are going to prepare them to be contributing members of our community? Not necessarily like factory workers, right, or being able to feel XYZ job and take directions. Right. It's a much bigger shift.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yeah, it is. Thanks a lot for sharing that, David. And just your perspectives on that, because I think that's the work that we're involved in right now. We're all grappling, none of us have arrived at at a way of doing this. And the end, like you said, there's not a there is no recipe for this. Right? There's no recipe for this. And earlier, you asked me, you know, probably earlier in my life, I'd already been, you know, living out restorative justice principles, you know, when I didn't even know about restorative justice. And I said, I said, No, I don't, I don't think so. Because, you know what, I believe that, that we all have worked out of a belief system. Right. But I don't think in schools or in our communities that were encouraged to examine those belief systems, or to even identify those belief systems, there are assumed belief systems. And when you have two people or two groups of people that that get together and end up being in conflict, it's often because of different belief systems, right. And so you've identified very well, that the structure of the institutional school is problematic. But how many people could articulate that schools were set up, you know, during the Industrial Revolution to create workers for for factories, right, and to be compliant and to respond to bills and all that kind of stuff? You know, most people, the general public, they don't know that. Right? They've been fed a whole different line about, well, if you go to school, you'll get a good job when you grow up, and one of my biggest beefs, and something that I keep thinking, I have to do some research on you is that when you ask young children, kindergarten students, why they go to school, ask, ask, you know, a four and five year old why they go to school, and you know what some of them might say, because I want to be with my friends, or because, you know, I want to be with my teacher, or, you know, because I want to have fun. But eventually, almost every single one of them will say, because I need a good job when I grow up. And where are they getting that message, well they're getting it from parents who have experienced that if they played the school game, right, they got a good job. But the interesting thing about our society today is that that's no longer true. You can be incredibly successful in school and still be unemployed. Because our society has shifted. So what is I think, in educational institutions K to post secondary, as well as in our communities, we need to be asking ourselves, what, what do we believe about what it is to be human? And we don't have those conversations. And so we can't identify the reality that our schools are breaking down. Because people are promoting an assumed framework that is your only valuable if you contribute to the economic system. And so I see restorative justice as a whole philosophical shift. But like you, you know, I'd be curious for you to unpack a little bit more about, you know, I'm not sure I heard you correctly that, you know, restorative justice just doesn't have a place in schools.

David (he/him):

Yeah, when I think about the way that restorative justice it gets brought into schools, yeah. It is often administrators Yeah, right. Trying to

Dorothy Vaandering:

control

David (he/him):

control people in a different way.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Right. Yeah. And you know what, it's it's an all call it up. You know, from my perspective, it's just when that happens, it's wrong. It's just wrong and and restorative justice will cause further harm when that happens, right. And I've seen it happen over and over and over again. Right? I've seen good things happen with restorative justice in schools. But I also see and have parents or people come to me and say, Dorothy, my kids teacher tried to have a circle when something went wrong with the class. And it was unbelievable how my child got centered out. And they don't want to go to school anymore. I've talked to, you know, staffs where somebody came in to facilitate a circle with the staff, because the staff was at odds with each other. Right? And what came out was, you know, a barrage of anger towards one or two people who were sitting in that circle. And they said to me, you know, Dorothy, I thought I understood what restorative justice was. And I had a lot of respect for restorative justice, until I had to sit in circle. And, and the facilitator allowed my dignity to be undermined and didn't do anything. Right. And so when we are doing circles, who is it? That is saying this was good? Is it the administrator? Is it the teacher? Is it the facilitators? Or is it the people who have experienced harm and caused harm? Who are we asking about whether this has been a good experience? And I know we're asking, you know, some and and I also know, like, like, sometimes when I talk I go, my goodness, Dorothy, are you totally dumping on restorative justice? Are you advocating for it? I'm advocating for it in a big way. Because I believe it has the potential. But it's going to be generational before we know how to do it, and live it well.

David (he/him):

Yeah. And when I think about, you know, the things that you shared, like, I think there's a place for people to practice.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yep,

David (he/him):

restorative ways of being

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yep.

David (he/him):

It can't be mandated.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yep

David (he/him):

Right. And when we have a system that is all about mandates, and like, yeah, this is how, like, we spent this money on this trainer to come and facilitators, everybody has to do this. Like, that's not the that's not how you bring people into doing the internal work that it takes to do to navigate that mindset shift when I i frame a lot of the work around. Are you familiar with the characteristics of white supremacy culture, as identified by tema Oken?

Dorothy Vaandering:

No.

David (he/him):

Okay. I'll link that to you. But yeah, I'm thinking about, you know, restorative justice, as antidotes to that, right. Yeah. And you can't force somebody to interrogate those things. And if you're saying, like, right, now you have to someone who has not gone through that process, like, Alright, now you have to go facilitate a circle for whoever, right, they're not going to be able to hold space for the the emotions that come up in that space, they're not going to be able to be responsive to the needs of the people that come up, right. They're not going to know what to look for. And so, you know, the beauty of what's been able to happen within the context of amplify rj is that, you know, on the internet, of people who are actively searching for these things have come and when you're in that frame, you know, the learning of a transformation can can happen. And I'm not saying that it can't happen within the context of like, mandated, quote, unquote, school professional development. But you know, when it's in the context of our professional development, that expectation is often like, Alright, we did this training. Now we have these skills. Now we're going to practice this flawlessly. Right, and that's just not how it goes. And I think when people have that expectation of restorative justice being this cure all or panacea, right, for all of the problems that we have, whether they are about racial discrimination, gender injustice, LGBTQIAP plus discrimination on top of like school behavior, like that's not it, not it.

Dorothy Vaandering:

See, and I think, you know, from my perspective, in an ideal context, what you're describing is, is the omission of one of the key principles of restorative justice and that is that it be Invitational. So when I get asked to do professional learning for a school, or for a group, I will always ask, Is this mandated or is this something that everyone is coming to because they want to come to it. Right. And if it is predominantly mandated, I will actually just say that they're not ready to, to begin that journey, right. And so in our implementation guide, we actually, you know, we talked, we talked about that a little bit. But the, you know, it needs to be Invitational. And so in the same way, you know, a school district, or the Department of Education, they can put it into their policies. But if they put it into their policies, and then mandate that it happens, I will be the first to stand up to say, you know, what can't be done this way. We have to rethink how we do this because it needs to be Invitational. So we are working on some of those things here in the province. Right. So and interestingly enough, in Newfoundland, Labrador, you know, the most recent election in the main date better for the Minister of Education includes restorative justice. So now, from my perspective, I will be watching to see if, or how can we continue down this path in an Invitational way. So there is a, you know, a disruption of the system that hopefully we'll be able to navigate and encourage, right. So that's, that's the one thing and then the second thing in my dream of dreams, that we would not focus on the students in a school, but we would focus on the, on the adults in a school, right? Because if the adults get it, and if the adults learn how to live it, they will automatically convey that to the children and students and live with the children and youth in that way. But too often in school, we say, we have to teach the kids we have to teach the kids. And then because otherwise, it's never going to change, like, Oh, no, I'm sorry. But if we try to teach the kids, but don't expect the same thing from the adults, then we put the children and the youth in a really precarious position.

David (he/him):

Yeah, I think about the James Baldwin, quote, yeah, children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they've never failed to imitate them. Yeah. Right. If you're telling kids to do something, and like, are modeling something different? Like they're smart. I would also like, extend that model to like, when teacher, teachers, right, school staff, are being told to do something that their leadership isn't modeling. Right. So like, it does have to be Invitational and like, there is an incredible amount of like, have a sense of urgency, because of the harm that is actively happening. How do you invite school leaders or people who are working in schools to manage that balance of like, this needs to change? And we can't force people to do it overnight? No.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Well, we're working hard here to do that. And it feels like it's been a long journey. But what's really interesting is when I came to Newfoundland, Labrador in 2009, I had, I came with the benefit of having seen how he it was implemented in different provinces or different school districts, and how the focus had been on behavior and harm. Right. And from a very early on, because of what Lisa said to me, I, I was very conscious that it can't, restorative justice, it cannot simply be about harm, because the if we address the harm, the culture doesn't necessarily change. Right? So in the little book of restorative justice, education, Kathy and I actually have the the Venn diagram of around that the core beliefs of, of worth and interconnectedness being, you know, nurturing healthy communities, creating just an equitable learning environments and addressing harm in transforming conflict. Right, so, so restorative justice gets presented as this holistic way of be, because if we're only going to use restorative justice practices to address the harm, that doesn't ensure that just an equitable learning environments are going to happen. And so the, let's say the children or youth who might go through or even the teachers or adults in a school who may participate in a restorative justice conference to address harm, the likelihood that that harm has happened because because there's something in the system that has pushed these people to cause harm or to experience harm, we need to be changing the system within which harm happens because the system could be creating the conditions that that, that the children in youth, you know, model. So one of the other things Kathy and I talked about is trickled down bullying. And that's not our own term, and I'm forgetting where that's coming from off the top of my head. But you know, I mean, there's such an outcry about bullying in schools and so on so forth. And I'm not minimizing that bullying happens. But it is very problematic that discourse around bullying,

David (he/him):

but Maureen Johnson,

Dorothy Vaandering:

Okay, there we go. Thank you.

David (he/him):

Just a quick Google

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yeah, good. But, you know, the, the school executive, the district and board executives, are putting a lot of pressure on administrators, right. Administrators then feel stress and pressure, and a lot of bullying techniques to be perfectly honest from their, from their superiors. And they transfer that to the, you know, to their staff and to their teachers, right. And then, and then the staff and teachers feel incredibly stressed and bullied, and have no way out. So it ends up landing on the on the children and youth. And so the children and youth, what do they do? Well, they take it out on each other. And then we all outcry and go, what terrible things happening here. But the children and youth are the canary in the minefield, are in the mineshaft, right? Like we need to be looking at what they're doing and saying, Where is this coming from? And that's where that's where those other two circles are so important, is that those responses and reactions are coming from contexts that are not just an equitable, or where relationships aren't nurtured? If that makes sense.

David (he/him):

Yeah. When I when I hear you talking about that, like, we haven't really explored within the context of this podcast, the ideas of transformative justice. Right? And I do think there are, there are important nuances, right? Because when we get into the conversation about like, transforming the systems or transforming the conditions under like, which this harm is happening, like, I think that's where transformative justice comes in. And like, I think that's still important for restorative justice practitioners to be asking, because we're not doing this in a vacuum, right? We're not like we're doing this in the context of, for me, the United States of America, you Canada, where there is this priority coming down from the very, very top about like, this is what we need to be producing. And like, it's, it's not that we're saying like school administrators are all powerful. They have bosses, right? People from districts have, quote, unquote, policies. And I think like, we're the product of schools is students graduating, right, with whatever test scores, and then like, whatever college acceptance rate, and all these things, and like, so what are the ways that we are shifting people's incentives towards like, treat humans Well, from like, from produce these high achieving students to like, treating people well, and then preparing them for the world in whatever way makes sense to And I'm not really talking about college or post secondary them? education, how are you moving in relationship with people and I think part of that is, you know, the things that you do and produce in the world, but like, that's not most of who people are. I'm reflecting on the podcast that aired last week with Stephanie Serantos of where, you know, at the school that she works with at the no curriculum school. And, you know, they've worked at so from ages four through 19 their students, quote, unquote, graduate with both a high school diploma and an a degree, right and have gone on to do all sorts of different things. And I've gone on to, like within the context of higher education and professional jobs, right, but what they're most proud of is the way that their students are able to navigate relationships with people and be affirmed for like all the unique gifts that they bring in schools in our construction. Don't do that. I'm curious. If you have like Maybe like a sudbury model, or some other model of like what this kind of really relationship driven schooling looks like? Or maybe it's a vision?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yeah, I think it's mostly a vision. And I realized that your previous question I didn't finish or didn't answer in that. When I came to Newfoundland Labrador, I was determined to introduce restorative justice to schools through that relational lens, so that there was a deep understanding of developing relationships in the school and in a community before addressing harm. So, ironically, what has happened is that in many of the schools and the educators in my Labrador, have really grasped that and do a lot of circle work in in the way that Kay Prentiss and Karen Boiswatson describe that. But are very, very reluctant to use circles for harm. Okay, so we've got kind of that the backwards concern here, which is really quite interesting. And that happened, because when I introduced it to professional learning groups, right, I did emphasize relationship with self understanding frameworks of who we are and what we do. And, and developing relational school cultures. Okay, so when you ask me, and and it's that has worked, right, but it's not like I mean, we have, we are a small province in terms of people, right, 500,000 people? I don't know exactly how many schools 200 and some odd schools. And, you know, there's only about 40 or 50 schools that are engaging with restorative justice in some form or another because it hasn't been mandated. Right? Yeah. It's been Invitational, right? And so in seven or eight years, you know, a fifth of the schools have been engaging with restorative justice and education in some way, shape, or form. And many of the other educators know about it. Okay. And, and so my vision is about coming at it from the ground up. So that it is Invitational so that the change can happen from within and in time, that as the educators become comfortable with it, that they will begin to ask and share with the people who are leading them. What restorative justice is, and that's David starting to happen here. Yeah, right. And so we have reports, for instance, of the director of our district, though he's not been trained in circles, he's sat in circles, that educators have have, have facilitated. And when he goes across the province to meet with administrators, he's now doing those in circle. Right. So, so what's my vision? Yeah, you know, if I hear what you're talking about in terms of the Sudbury school schools, and I'm not real clear on on, I don't know about that. In my dream of dreams, it sounds exactly like I want it to be right. And I think that restorative justice can really inform that in terms when when it's understood holistically, but then I'll go back to what you talked about, you know, but isn't that been transformative? justice? Yeah. And you know what? I have to admit that from the beginning, I was much more interested in the concepts of transformative justice. But over the years, the terminology that began to stick was restorative justice. Right. So I had to, so I felt like I had to make a decision that would have the biggest impact. And I was seeing that restorative justice in many ways, was being misunderstood in school context, but it was being called restorative. Okay, so then I thought, why I can encourage a different terminology. So that we talked about transformative justice, but I actually felt like the field had progressed already to that point, that and maybe it was the wrong decision on my part, right? But instead what I did then was I looked really carefully at how to understand restorative justice in a transformative way. So I would say restorative justice understood holistically is a transformative is a transformative experience, because restorative justice is not just about the relationship of people with each other, but people with their environments and people with in the organizations, and so with their relationships are addressed and understood more deeply than I think the structures, the systems can change. So I think, so I would say that I'm working out of, you know, a transformative understanding of restorative justice.

David (he/him):

Yeah. Well, and I think like, I had this conversation with other people, like, indigenous people, yeah, don't use any of these words. Right

Dorothy Vaandering:

I was going to, one of the things that I wanted to say, was that, you know, you don't need the words, right to live it. Absolutely. And I think and I believe very, very firmly, that the number one responsibility of restorative justice or transformative justice, is to find a way to create a space for indigenous peoples to lead. I believe that that's, you know, they have been so suppressed, and so oppressed. And I'm just so thrilled that we're hearing and listening, least in part, more fully, but we are because they continue to model and live out of a relational framework. So in Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed up by Senator Murray Sinclair. Right. was an incredible model of that for us. Right. We never talked about it being restorative justice. However, you know, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu in South Africa, for instance, they did talk about truth and reconciliation, restorative justice, approach right. So you know, the principles are the same, the language changes in ships, and that's what I'm grappling with. And what I said at the beginning as well is how do I stop talking? You know, like, really, you shouldn't be talking to me? Really, you know, and I, and I'm, and you know, what, just even as I'm thinking that I'm going, like, you know, I should have put you on to an indigenous person. in me, I'll pick first nation, where their school is living this out of their framework. Right. And that's the thing then that I use my privilege for, and I chose to speak instead of them.

David (he/him):

I mean, I would still take that connection. And I will, you know, you can expand on that. I'd love to hear you expand on like, how you view your role as a white person, a white person who is a settler, right, doing this work?

Dorothy Vaandering:

I'm really struggling with that. Because I'm currently working through me and white supremacy, which is really helpful. Yeah. Which I'm finding very helpful. But one of the things that I've learned through that is that I tend to go silent rather than advocate because I'm not sure exactly how to advocate because if I advocate, how do I make sure that it's not my voice that becomes prominent? Right. So I'm really grappling. Okay. And, and so my number one responsibility, I believe is to have conversations with my peers who are white. Right? That's, that's where my work is. And I'm tentatively engaging in the work with black indigenous and people of color, in a way that on working hard, to listen deeply, and not to speak, one of the things that Kathy and I have been very grateful for. And this is where we believe I heard Kay Prentiss talk about this about, you know, the truth that's within us, right? is is that people like Skye Bowen in, in Toronto area sky and Cheryl Wilson and you know others and also in my communication with Chief missile Joe and indigenous peoples in this province, the perspective that Kathy and I put forward seems to resonate and reflect their perspectives. I'm thankful for that. But I am humbled by that, when somebody like sky will use our work. But I think my, my number one responsibility is, is with my colleagues and friends and family, where what and not to say this is what has to change, but to say, let's open up a space, to share our ideas and take risks in what we say. And to hold ourselves to expectations of what it means to be human, in that fullest sense of the word. So, and I'm very much indebted to the work of paulo Freire. And you know, and his his work around re-humanizing. Right conscientization, his work is very much influenced me. And I was able to go to Brazil a couple years ago, because my work was grounded in Paulo Freire's work. And in Brazil, they hadn't been thinking about the connection between restorative justice and paulo Friere. Right. So I was very, very conscious of the fact that I was bringing something back to them that was already part of their culture, so to speak, or their their ways of thinking around education through the work of poetry, and I know that that has, you know, you know, isn't welcomed by everybody there either. Yeah. So I don't know. long winded. Sorry.

David (he/him):

No, I appreciate the vulnerability. If I could ask a follow up to that, you know, you talked about you know, your role and having these conversations with your white colleagues, friends, peers, like, what does that look like for you?

Dorothy Vaandering:

It's very difficult. Very challenging, because there is a vulnerability, like there's a fragility not vulnerability. So I think about it as we think about different things in education scaffolding. Right. And the need to bring people into familiarity with circle dialogue and gentle ways, before we tap into more challenging ways. So what does that look like? It's very difficult, and I don't think we're very far. Okay. But, but it is something that I I suggest, and I recommend I plant seeds for, you know, it would be really good to do this. probably have to become more assertive in terms of actually organizing circles, to discuss those harder topics. And I do it I do it with my adult students. When I teach, I'm also an associate professor at Memorial University, but academics is a foreign world to me, because none of my family went to Higher Education Sciences. Most my family didn't. And and I'm a primary I think, primarily a primary elementary educators. So sure, sure, but I mean, it's, it's done me Well, in a lot of ways. And so in all my classes or all the committees that I chair I do in circle. So if somebody says, if one of my, you know, my Dean says, Dorothy, will you chair this committee? I'll say, yeah, I'll do it, but you need to know I'm going to do it in circle. And that doesn't always go real smoothly. But I've learned I've learned how to scaffold people into those spaces. Right. Whereas I think initially years ago, I jumped in too quickly, often, right? So people were like, what are you doing? You know, I don't want to have anything to do with this. And now I kind of scaffold. And so it's a journey, David, it's a it's a journey. And there's really great things that happen. But it's not a panacea. But I believe it's the best thing we've got right now. In terms of a vision for what could be, but we're going to have to grow. We're gonna have to change our minds. We're gonna have to grow, we're gonna have to recognize where we got it wrong. And I do believe that, you know what, it's okay to get it wrong. But that's that westernized colonizing way of being is we think that we got to there's a perfect way there's no, there's no perfect way. You know, there just isn't. And so we have to learn how to, you know, like, I have at the bottom, my email Rumi, the Persian poet, philosopher Rumi, from the 13th century, you said, I'll be on right doing and wrongdoing, there is a field and I will meet you there.

David (he/him):

Yeah.

Dorothy Vaandering:

And I've tried to take that off of my signature line in my email many times, and I can't, because it's, it's critical for me in my life, because I was raised in a right doing and wrongdoing, context. And so it's still my default. Right? And so every time I send an email, I have to ask myself that question. You know, what, Is this about right doing a wrongdoing? Or is this about me welcoming? A conversation and difficult conversation?

David (he/him):

I invite you to take a breath with me.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Thanks.

David (he/him):

Maybe one more if you want to. So thank you so much for all of that sharing it really, it really takes a lot, and so many of us have so much to do. We all we all have different roles to play in this work. And so I appreciate you for being here wrestling with that publicly. And in sharing with, you know, also a lot of the people who are white who are listening to this, it's an invitation for you as well. You've said it in many different ways. But I'm curious, how do you define restorative justice?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Oh, yeah. Okay, the really short version? Sure. It's about moving people, and schools and institutions and cultures from being rule based to relationship based.

David (he/him):

Yeah, yeah. I like that. You get to sit in circle with four people living or dead. Who are they? And what question do you

Dorothy Vaandering:

Oh, circle? Oh, yeah. More questions. My father, because he was a very quiet man. And he was in hiding for two years during the war. And he never talked about that. I think our Bishop Desmond Tutu because of his perspective, and, and the hope he had, that, in the end, evil would not win. And I and this is not a single person, but survivors of residential schools. And I'm just realizing that all the people that I'm saying other than that group that survivors the next person that I'm thinking of is Chief, or Senator Murray Sinclair, who headed up the trc here in Canada. They're all men. And I'm just wondering what that's telling me. But what question probably something like where is your pain?

David (he/him):

Sometimes I turn that question back to a guest. You're willing to answer that right now?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Oh, I'll try. My pain is in knowing that I have the capacity to cause harm. And my pain is also in having in being a watcher and seeing the pain that in young children and adults, colleagues in my spaces of privilege, but in particular, those spaces that I don't have access to like the survivors of residential schools or murdered and missing indigenous moon girls. No. Yeah. So that's where my pain is, because it's, I want it to be much more normal to be able to talk about our pain with our needing to hide our pain.

David (he/him):

Yeah, for sure, for sure. I don't think it's fair for me to not to share

Dorothy Vaandering:

I should have said, What about you, David? Where is your pain?

David (he/him):

right now. It's that I'm not giving myself space for rest. I'm like, I my expectations of myself are beyond my capacity. And I'm, even as we speak, just pushing down that pain and pushing through

Dorothy Vaandering:

I hear you. That's true for me, too. And so I remember, you know, six weeks ago, committing to this interview, and then waking up this morning and going like, oh, my goodness, what did I say yesterday? Because, you know, I have five projects on my plate. But I appreciate Yeah. Been. It's been good to have this conversation even my Yeah, no.

David (he/him):

Yeah. I mean, as much as like, this is a product that we're sharing with the world. It's also like an experience that we're having here. And so I'm, like, really grateful for that as well. What's one mantra or affirmation? You want? everyone listening right now to know

Dorothy Vaandering:

is what you say what you do?

David (he/him):

Not all the time.

Dorothy Vaandering:

And my other one would be the Rumi quote. Yeah, I'll be on right doing and wrongdoing there as a field. And I will meet you there.

David (he/him):

Thank you. Two more question. Who's one person that I should have on this podcast? And you got to help me get them on?

Dorothy Vaandering:

We talked earlier about, you know, an educator in an indigenous school context. And to be honest, I don't have strong connections that way, but I'm going to give that a lot more thought. Okay. So one person, another person. Oh, Michelle Stowe. Sky Bowen. Have you had sky Bowen?

David (he/him):

I'm talking to Scott was gonna say about sky.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Definitely sky Bowen. Right. Michelle Stowe in Ireland is another good person. I don't know. Do you know Michelle, or her work?

David (he/him):

I don't at all. And so, I will be looking forward to that introductory email.

Dorothy Vaandering:

Yeah. Yeah, she's done a TEDx TED talk or TEDx talk. It's really fun.

David (he/him):

Gotcha. And then finally, how can people support you and your work and the ways that you want to be supported?

Dorothy Vaandering:

Oh, well, I think just know about it. Right. I mean, so the little book of restorative justice education, it came out in 2016. So it's been around for a while. There you go. And it's not the end all and beall and I would love for people to engage with it and, and reflect on it critically? Yeah, I think that would be good because I I'm incredibly passionate about understanding beliefs and values and the importance of that. So that's it, how can people support my work? by challenging themselves to learn the work and to stop thinking about how this is good for others. And then on a practical note, we do have a website called relationships first restorative justice and know what's it called? relationship relationships first and l.com. It

David (he/him):

and that'll be linked in the show notes. Yes.

Dorothy Vaandering:

It'll be under revision, some, it's got some problems and so on. But at least it's you know, our implementation guide is there. And we are hoping to revise it in the next year or two, to actually have, you know, of it as a partnership, or collaboration with indigenous educators in Newfoundland Labrador. So I'm, I'm, you know, I'm comfortable with most of it in there. But yeah, so that's fine. It's, it's out there, just, you know, if you use it, give credit to it. But the purpose is, and I said this in the radical lover, recolonization. It's not to be afraid of challenging each other, to recognize how restorative justice might be causing harm. And let's not let's not turn it into a movement, an evangelical movement, that's for sure.

David (he/him):

Well, thank you so much, as we both shared, it's been a wonderful conversation. I appreciate your time, and the wisdom and experiences that you've shared. Are there any other things that you want to leave the listeners with?

Dorothy Vaandering:

No, just thank you for listening. And for learning, and being and Thank you, yeah, just thank you for listening, learning and being open to changing.

David (he/him):

Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Dorothy. Everyone else, we'll be back next week. Until then take care.

Elyse (she/her):

Thank you, Dorothy. I really appreciate it when Dorothy mentioned that the number one priority and responsibility of transformative and restorative justice is to give indigenous people a space to lead. So many spaces have been taken from indigenous leaders. And it's really important to keep restorative justice as a space that honors indigenous roots and indigenous values. I thought this was a really important way to start off the episode. And to really tie in all of these values. I think another really important point that Dorothy brought up was intentions, especially when it comes to administration who wants to implement restorative or transformative justice. Oftentimes, when these systems are implemented within schools, it comes from a top down approach where the administrators want more control in this extra area of justice. It's the intention in the implementation of restorative and transformative justice is surrounding control than it does not follow these indigenous values. And it's not going to be as effective. What is your personal definition of justice? And how do you practice intentionality was in restorative justice? Again, thank you so much for listening to this episode today. And don't forget to check out our future ancestors collective, all of our workshops and courses, and our YouTube channel, and all the information you need will be linked in the show notes below. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll see you next week.

David (he/him):

Like what you heard? please subscribe, rate, review and share this podcast on whatever platform you're using right now. It really helps us further amplify this work. You can also support us by following us on our social platforms, signing up for our email list, rocking our new merge, joining our Patreon or signing up for a workshop. So many options. Links to everything in the show notes and on our website, amplify rj.com thanks so much for listening. We'll talk to you next week.