This Restorative Justice Life

60. Undoing the First Harm: Settlers in Restorative Justice w/ Edward Valandra (The Restorative Lens Podcast)

November 11, 2021 David Ryan Castro-Harris Season 2 Episode 6
This Restorative Justice Life
60. Undoing the First Harm: Settlers in Restorative Justice w/ Edward Valandra (The Restorative Lens Podcast)
Show Notes Transcript

The featured episode from "The Restorative Lens Podcast" hosts LTomay Douglas and Allana Ojibway speak with Edward Valandra,  Waŋbli Wapȟáha Hokšíla, who is both an author and editor for Colorizing Restorative Justice.

His chapter, “Undoing the First Harm: Settlers in Restorative Justice,” gives voice to the need for settlers to recognize the ways that restorative justice too often fails to address the first harm: which is the theft and continued occupancy of Indigenous land. Through honesty and education, Edward sheds light on the contradicting relationship between RJ practitioners instilling restorative practices/values, while at the same time failing to acknowledge or take accountability for ways that settlers continue to benefit from the stolen land. He discusses practical ways that educators and practitioners can take action and bring dialogue of the First Harm into restorative spaces.

Follow their podcast on:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-restorative-lens/id1588436493
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3KZ97jnssXPfnMSwvFLeJY
and check out the work of the National Center on Restorative Justice at https://www.vermontlaw.edu/academics/centers-and-programs/national-center-on-restorative-justice

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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 amplify RJ calm 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. 

David (he/him)  
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. 

David (he/him)  
Hi friends, David here, bringing you a super special episode of this restorative justice life, which as you might have come to know means that I'm featuring another podcast that is amplifying restorative justice. The restorative lens is a podcast hosted by Tomay Douglas and Elana Ojibwe, in collaboration with the National Center on restorative justice. There are five episodes in and each one has been packed with such gems of knowledge from different restorative practitioners, some of who have been on this podcast, and many who have been featured in the book colorizing restorative justice. Today I'm featuring episode three with the editor of the book, Dr. Edward Valandra, but they release new episodes every week. So if you want to stay up to date with all they have going on, make sure that you go over to the restorative lens podcast feed on whatever platform you're listening to right now and subscribe. We'll be back with one of our regular episodes next week. But until then, enjoy this conversation with Elana to me and Edward.

Tomay Douglas  
Hello, welcome. And thank you for joining us in the restorative lens podcast, where we bring together voices in the restorative justice community to share insight, practices and perspective.

Elana Ojibwe  
Each series of the restorative lens will be focusing on different topics within the field of restorative justice and give a space to hear from those who are most directly impacted or involved in the work.

Tomay Douglas  
The Restorative Lens is supported under the National Center on restorative justice, and we are your hosts. I am so Tommay Douglas.

Elana Ojibwe  
And I'm Elana Ojibwe. We're so excited to share with you the launch of this first series which features the voices of several authors from the book colorizing restorative justice colorizing restorative justice is a collection of 18 different essays by 20 practitioners and scholars of color, exploring the issues of racism and colonization within the field of restorative justice and restorative practices.

Tomay Douglas  
We hope you enjoy listening. 

Elana Ojibwe  
So I would love to hear, or have you share a little bit more specifically about your chapter. Um, and I think, you know, you mentioned this, maybe before we started recording, but it's interesting, and symbolic. I think, to me that, you know, you said this is, in some ways kind of a standalone topic within this polarizing sort of justice book. So, you know, the title of your chapter being undoing the first harm settlers in restorative justice. So can you talk a little bit about first, just setting the context for what what you describe as being the first harm? And and how that is not, is absent in a lot of the conversations and practices within this field of restorative justice?

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Sure, so and there's a very good comparative here on you know, on one hand, like I say, I had been involved with RJ RP, someone on the margins over because of my association with LJP over the past 17 years. So, I had a sense of the I had a sense of, of the field itself, and actually have gone to some circles or some of these smaller conferences or seminars. And I think what struck me the most was as an indigenous person going into the circles. One, I did see a lot of people of color and certainly did not see a lot of indigenous peoples. And then what was actually talked about in those circles. And, and, and I, I realized that as I begin to actually do the book, you know, what we scholars always do you know, if we have access to restore or our thing or those kinds databases, we can do searches. So I went ahead and you know, put out the search terms restorative and justice and practices restorative justice. You know, I probably downloaded 75 articles. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And I started reading, that it was very apparent that that field in its beginning was pretty much white led white man, and white articulated. And then that showed up in the circles that I would go to, you know, so I was connecting these dots. And one of the things that struck up, it stuck out to me was we, in restorative justice, that main principle of, of addressing harmed as a result of wrongdoing. You could share your reading the literature, and in some of the few circles that I've been involved in this was some Yeah, they're addressing harms, which mostly in the criminal justice framework of things, victim offender, you know, those words, those terminologies went out to us, but at the time, you could see, you know, a perpetrator, and, and the person that was harmed so. So you could see a lot of that detail happening on an individual level. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And as an indigenous person, I was waiting, like, boy, this is really interesting, to be in a circle and hearing about addressing harms as a result of wrongdoing. I as an indigenous person sitting in a circle of settlers. Why is it the first time in why isn't the first time been addressed? And I didn't call it the first time at that time. But I'll say there's an ongoing and unaddressed harm. So when the book came, I went back to that theme and started articulating more and just said, look, for restore to at least as an indigenous person for restorative justice to have any credibility, any legitimacy, any gravitas? You can't be talking about unaddressed harms maybe at an individual level, and, and resolving conflict that way or undoing the harm that way. What about the more systemic issue? Like I call length, the first harm, certainly, this labeling of people as a second harm, and those go unaddressed. So when I was, you know, being indigenous and going into the circles, it was just become an almost morally disingenuous to be sitting there thinking that this is all cool. People are addressing harms as a result of wrongdoing, but they're not addressing the most fundamental first harm, which a lot of other harms result from that. So that's, that's where the origin of that thought came to us to talk about that first harm. And recognizing that as a result of settler colonialism, we have settlers and restorative justice. And so the challenge I laid out there was, if you mean, what you say and say what you mean, I think you need to do this for the good of the field, for the good of the discipline, and for just justice in general. And it's been a bumpy road.

Elana Ojibwe  
Yeah, I'm curious, your experience of I, you, you talk about it in the book, but I can imagine how challenging and, and on settling it can be for you and for the people in those conversations to how do you with RJ practitioners bring up you know, like, at what point does it come up in the conversation to say, Hey, there, there is, you know, absolutely, maybe an another necessary harm that needs to be addressed. But before that, how do we have this have this conversation and and I think it's also important, maybe for you to describe a little bit about the term settlers colonialism and how that how that differs than other other forms of colonialism and, you know, in the field of, of RJ, how does that how does that continue to be problematic?

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Great question. Great question. Um, one of the things that makes and distinguishes settler colonialism is the one factor because that settlers that came to stay, it's not like mainstream kind of colonization, where the British won in the India for 200, maybe 50 years. And eventually last, all the French went into Algeria. Now, after a period of so many years, they last, and the colonization of the African continent, by by Europeans they left. So that's kind of like, an exploitive kind of colonization, where they, you know, they set up things and then and then the colonizers eventually left. So that that's probably the the one familiar thing that people are aware of, in international relations after World War Two, there was a lot of decolonization going on.

Dr. Edward Valandra  
So in our case, the settlers did leave. Um, you know, and there's like, the kind of Internal Colonialism we always think about is, is where you have puppet regimes, by another colonizing power. So we have those but settler colonialism is very distinct, and that the settlers stay. And as a result of that, when settlers stay, and the history shows us and writings like their Cheney and Patrick Wilson, those guys show that because settlers decide this day, one of the some of the distinguishing features of that is they displace indigenous communities. And in the displacement of those indigenous communities, they start your own national community. So you have Americans, for example, where that never existed prior to 1492, you have Canadians have Australians, and you have New Zealanders. So those are displacements of indigenous peoples, and in that displacement, they start their own ethnic or national community. And so settler colonialism intersects with things like race, for example. And that, that's one of the intersectionalities. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
So that's what makes it really unique from and set apart from other types of colonialism. And there's, and there's certain things that we have to know about settler colonialism, since southerners are here to stay. And because our indigenous peoples, the displacement of indigenous peoples, is often referred to as the logic of elimination. In other words, there is inherently in settler colonialism, the disappearance of indigenous peoples. And so there's, there's that component to it. And therefore, as Patrick Wolfe has wrote, In one of his earlier essays is, settler colonialism is a structure and not an event. So it's not a one off thing. It's embedded in the structures of a settler society. So then you see that all the time. It's not, it's not just the past, it's not just the present. But the futility of settlers to the whole system is to ensure that the disappearance of native peoples is the outcome of that. And it usually means annexing and taking of indigenous land. And then the elimination of indigenous peoples. So one can do that deconstruction and say, That's why settlers, settler colonialism is so different, and so lethal. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And, you know, I make I make the proposition that as an indigenous person, or any indigenous person can go on just our very presence can unsettle settlers. And we don't have say anything, we just walk into a room. And they know we're indigenous. And already, the settlers are been unsettled with the very fact that any semblance of native permanence disrupts is disruptive. Yeah, because an indigenous person like me might say, we turn the lamp and boy, that little thing just begins to crumble. So there's all these different kinds of structures that were put in place, like settler expectations. Settler fantasies of entitlement. You know, we as indigenous persons can, can literally unhinge a lot of settlers just by the very presence. Because any, any, any permit any notions of indigenous permanence really cast the whole legitimacy on the settler project. Right. And that's why land claims, you know, can trigger a settler. That's why we talk about jurisdiction, our own sovereignty, it just, you just can watch settlers become unhinged. Because that was the bargain they've made with that project.

Tomay Douglas  
I have a question. And it's, it's, it's related to what I keep either experiencing and certain spaces or seeing the pushback. And that's in term of this whole idea of land acknowledgement. You know, so before, there's this circle process that takes place, there's this land acknowledgement, and how do you feel about that? 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Well, there's a couple of things that can be performative in some ways, like, there's just something you have to get through. Um, but again, when I when I talk to the Americans, cousins, the Canadians, on these kinds of things, there's often a land acknowledgement. Some of its performative, some of its pretty benign. And then, so if we started with the land acknowledgement, you know, I'll tell you what comes out of my mouth, I would say, I am locked down part of the electric shock away. I'm in my homeland, which is occupied illegally by the settlers today. As opposed to this, the playground or this is the traditional homelands of the Lakota us where I work, live and play. As an indigenous person, I just put the reality out there of the first harm, right? I'm in my homeland, it's settler occupied, and it's illegal. Right? And that is that is, that is a historical fact. And I'm reasserting my native permanence here. That there's, there's an indigenous peoples here that can contest settlers. And then And then, of course, the the settler fragility, as I've been calling it lately, in relation to white fragility. Settler fragility gets triggered just by that process alone. And it can get quite interesting at times. But but that land acknowledgement, I think it needs to be a little bit more robust, as opposed to benign and performative.

Tomay Douglas  
All right, thank you for that, because I feel like it's it's almost like he talked about the fantasies, it's giving this beautification to something that was really brutal.

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Oh, yes. I, I think that that's just, you know, and there's some, you know, some of the best literature about settler colonialism actually is coming out of Canada. I mean, they, they do a lot of really good work on sort of a colonialism, and they do a very good job and these other settlers that are writing this material, so so, you know, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're talking back to other settlers about this notion of settler colonialism and it's very enlightening and I use a lot of the work in my work because I think it goes through some awareness on their part has been settlers and owning that identity. And then what does that identity mean?

Dr. Edward Valandra  
 Yeah, there's, there's some interesting um, you know, at times in these in these discussions, I do have, you know, settlers do get triggered no doubt. And usually it gets down to the binary which racism and colonialism, dust, they always get down into these binaries of us versus them and, and I hear that a lot. And I have to remind the settlers that you know, indigenous peoples and settlers, I mean, jeez, we marry each other, we divorce each other, we have each other's babies, we have these relationships. And so, so being a settler is not an either are, you can be a settler, and help undo subtle settler colonialism. It's a long journey, but, but to be an accomplice, and then decolonization doesn't it's just open to settlers even. So

Elana Ojibwe  
 One example that you give I'm curious to hear more about because well, it's coming up more and more, I think abroad in Australia and New Zealand, but, um, but even in the US, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on, you know, when you talk about we're talking about land acknowledgement and land theft, um, what that looks like today, and the ways that that is operating today. I'm curious to hear how you think restorative justice, ideally could be used as a bridge to mend the harm of say, you give the example of the Keystone pipeline. And a harm that, you know, is a baseline built on the narrative that is land is this land is already not, it's already someone else's. So we are entitled to do what we want with this land, pollute it, construct on it, all of these different things that impact tribal land, and tribal people. And so how do you think for something like an environmental harm, as an example of something where this relationship is ongoing, in terms of land use, and the ways that we all live on it? How could restorative justice be used to mend those kinds of harms?

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Well, the way you know, the the way, restorative justice and restorative practices works, from the literature I read from, you know, the RJ and RP practitioners that I've come to know, over the years is, um, you know, those that have been harmed have to have the space to articulate their stories, and what the harms have been. And now the captain, that restorative justice framework is, okay. You, you have the space to tell your story. And then, you know, the perpetrators hear their story. But it's up to those that have been harmed to say, this is what it's going to take to make us whole. And that, and that's where restorative justice then can step in and say. So, for example, if they say, for the lack of the people, or the charity chakra, which is a seven fires of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota people that they say, Okay, what, what, what would make the whole? What would I do that harm, return on land? That would be the litmus test.

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And I don't know, are settlers and RJ, really up to that? Because then a whole host of other challenges and issues began to arise out of that. And so I think that is, at least for me as a Lakota, you know, when I say, and I try to tell settlers, who say, we have we have we have several treaties with with Americans, not with the US government, but with Americans, you the government is just your representative, but they represent you. And we have these understandings. And so when we look at, like, in my case, the Treaty of 1868, and that specifies our national boundaries, just honor it. Just honor it. And, of course, that triggers settlers, because settler colonialism is about having no native permanence at all. And so when you when your starting point is sovereignty, it begins to immediately unravel settler colonialism and all the things that settlers have imbibed in over the years to to maintain that structure. So it's just not, you know, oh, we'll give you more money for education. Oh, you'll build more hospitals for your healthcare. Oh, you know, will will will infuse and transfer a lot of federal monies to your to your reservation, so you can have, you know, create, create jobs or whatever. It's like, no, just return the land. I mean, that is so basic and so simple. Yes.

Elana Ojibwe  
Yeah. It's an interesting starting point. I think about it. You know, for me, my my maternal side of the family's the Ojibwe tribe, and that I think about the flip side, my dad's side of the family Houma Indian, and how do you how does that same process look for tribes that have no federal recognition? And it almost seems like the starting place is redefining what tribal sovereignty needs to be defined as for tribes that that exists, but don't don't meet the standards for what federal recognition would look like. It's just interesting. And it makes me feel it just feels like there's so many layers of, of communities that are left out of this, this conversation of what What harm has been done and how you have what's the starting point to repair that,

Dr. Edward Valandra  
that, you know, and I think I think your insight into that is very good. And we have to be very careful, because the structure of settler settler colonialism is to is to is to parse things like that out, right? Federally recognized well, and then you have state recognize, what about Native recognized, you never hear that? What prevents the Lakota Nation from recognizing another indigenous group. And, of course, what they're gonna say, as well, that doesn't have that kind of a wait in the hierarchy of, of this federal system. But once we start playing that game, you know, we're in the seller's home court. And, you know, they'll let us into the court, but they won't give us the ball to play with. So those are the kinds of things that we have to consider before we even begin to sit around the circle and talk about undoing the first time. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
you raise some really interesting points that are one. And when we talk about land return the settlers on South Dakota, the first thing is what they say what give back, give back the land, we have to say just hold on a minute. We can't give back the land because it was never yours to give. You can return the land because it's stolen property. And as what you do is you return stolen property. So we have to be very nuanced, and how we engage in the English language. And so people like myself, will will make that point that you can't give something that never belonged to you anyway. So let's get rid of that. Secondly, you know, federal recognize, like, I know where it comes from? Why it originated, but do we have to play by that game? No, we don't. If restorative justice is about addressing these harms, that might be one of the harms we have talked about. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And then we could go into this whole educative process, right? I noticed. Like me, when I talk about sovereignty, I just say sovereignty, a lot of my colleagues use the term tribal sovereignty and that's a default tribal sovereignty means when you look at the Marshall decisions, dependent domestic nations that sovereignty that's a compromise sovereignty for me the starting point is sovereignty period. And move from there and I know terms like Indian country have a lot of weight to in discussions like that. But what is Indian country? I mean, we just got to really do a lot of deconstruction of those terms. Right. You know, Indian Country is they use that military terms. That's a hostile area don't go into Indian country. I mean, they use that in Iraq, they use an Afghanistan they use it in any place us has a military presence. It's always like, that's Indian country. So yeah, I hear that term used all the time in Native studies and in the legal profession. So let's just stop that let's just say indigenous in let's just say native country, or indigenous territory, so we have to change the meaning of those words too

Elana Ojibwe  
Yeah, yeah, thank you

Elana Ojibwe  
there's so many different um, I want to be conscious of time there's so many different things I would love to hear. Hear your thoughts on and I wish this was so much more than one chapter of this book. Um I guess one one question before I hand it over to me is if if this was more than one chapter if this was its own entire book. Um I really love so on a on a practical level, in our in our restorative justice program. The master's program, it's really difficult to, to imagine how you summarize a learning outcome for for master students to say they've grasped the concept and understand what is understanding the first harm, truly understanding it, and what does that look like? So I guess my question on on a practical level, because I think it's so necessary is what? What would it look like for a student who's studying restorative justice, to understand the first harm and include this? In more common dialogue and restorative justice?

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Well, I think, I think to understand that first harm would have to be some self reflection and assessment of where you're at, in that structure. So um, you know, and and being a university professor myself, at times, you can do these little engagement, that, bring it bring it to a focus, for example, I got this good exercise from a colleague of mine. Another professor, and so I use this on occasion. But one of the exercises I do with settlers is, I often say, you know, what is the first thing you do in the morning when you get out of bed. And we go around the horn right around the circle. And people say, Well, I get up and read, or I pray or take a shower, or go out, run and go to the gym. And they all they all say that, and I say, well, Ashley, the first thing that you do when you step out of bed in the morning, as you step on stolen native land, that's the first thing you do. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
And boy, talk about triggers, then you get all the denials. Well, my you know, my, my parents came here in 1950, and it's all happened in the 1800s don't matter, it's a structure, you still are benefiting from the theft of indigenous land. And then you could probably get an exercise what benefits do you have your own private property? And so you get those benefits office that the land? And, and so, so there are there are a set of activities that one can design that will push that narrative of self reflection. Because basically, then you hold up the mirror, and they see themselves in a way that will begin unsettle, right, it starts the triggering process, but that, but that zone of discomfort is is a place to be because it says something about how much maybe settlers have internalized. There, there's sublte settler privilege. And there's a whole series of different activities that one can do to bring that to fruition. And so that that awareness that consciousness is the first place to start. 

Elana Ojibwe  
Yeah, 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
so that when your circle and talking about the first time, for example, in my chapter I talk about maybe one thing that people could do in a circle to raise that kind of awareness has to do with the talking piece, you know,

Elana Ojibwe  
 there's talking piece, 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
but that would be and when, you know, we know something about circles and all the accoutrements that come the talking piece and all that, that's supposed to have some kind of, again, some gravitas in that. And so if that pocket piece says something about indigenous people, it brings, it brings it to fruition. And I often say it's, you know, when you do land acknowledgement, I think, to me is right, I, when you do, who are the indigenous people that are there? Because it's, it's like the hashtag, say my name, say my name, and not just Native America and our indigenous people, but the actual name of the peoples that occupy occupied or do occupy that. So So those are the things that can begin to raise that awareness. You know, and, and, I don't know, I really think that there's a time to engage and then, um, you know, again, settler colonialism is just the thing that has risen over the last 30 years. So people are still unraveling what that means, and especially the structure of it. Even indigenous people internalize that colonialism, right? We got these things called Indian Reorganization at governments. My gosh, isn't, isn't it? That is not the height of internalized colonialism. Show me what is it? I mean, gosh, you know, we, we act like these. You know, and, and I sat on the, I said, all my national, I sat on my nations legislator for years under that system, and it's not a healthy system at all.

Dr. Edward Valandra  
So, I tend to think that that's going to be how we began to really, you know, come to terms with the deepness of settler colonialism, because it's been going on for 500 plus years. And it's just, you just don't wash your hair, you know, overnight of it. And all it takes, it takes time, but it's an educated process. And it's a very uncomfortable process. Yeah. So, so I did tell GDP, I mean, I do tell settlers that they are treating people to, it's just not an old Indian Treaty. It's a treaty that that defies time. And so our descendants agreed to something. And our, excuse me, our ancestors to the great biases agreed to something, we're living at agreement today so that that sentence can live that agreement. So we are three people, that's what I like about the Canadian model is, they've been able to understand that they are treating people it's not a treaty with the government. It's a treaty with the Canadian people, as our treaties are with the American people. Very fascinating. Thank you.

Tomay Douglas  
This says, I sat here like, student in your class, actually. Because before you came on, I was sharing with the line that I have a cousin who, since our grandparents passed, has been doing a lot of research, she actually changed her name. And because we, my grandfather is from the black blood tribe, and my grandmother is from the Cherokee. And we were talking about, like, our family doesn't acknowledge that, you know, and so it's, it's like this identity that we don't have, because we have been colonized, in a sense, you know, and, and so, before we leave in, in this amazing interview, which I don't want it to end, but so I just want to ask, because I was thinking as you were speaking about, like, really self reflection, and on a micro level, because I'm thinking of inside of the educational system, I've done a lot of work in high schools and middle schools, and they use this RJ and circle practice, right. And what I identify is that they keep saying it or using it as this tool to help the black and brown children. And they use it as a tool for the other to become healed. And from my perspective, it's how about use it for self change? How about use it, so you can become aware, like you said, of the structural impact, that it even has on the way, you know, white educators engage, you know, non white bodies in the classroom, because study after study is showing, especially with black girls, you know, this is this reaction almost to, you know, black bodies, as if, you know, they just to be feared and not considered human. So it was interesting listening to you. And I know, your book, you talked about self change, you know, as as that process, so I just wanted to lift that up. And if you have any insight or feedback to that, before we end, I would love to hear that. And then lastly, just to find out like, what are your hopes for people walking away from the colorizing restorative justice book? 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
Well, I think the first question that you put out there, I think colorizing, restorative justice, the other chapters that were written really address that question of what what do you do in those, you know, predominantly white spaces that maybe re traumatize people of color in all circles, like how do we begin to deconstruct the notion of, you know, black bodies being predatory or, you know, just that just that default? So I think a lot of times I share what I've read in the book and read the contributors manuscripts was that, you know, they are voicing the reality is like, hey, this experience is real. And you need to hear how this has impacted us. And, and, I mean, the last thing Restorative Justice wants to do is, you know, recommit the harm, intentionally or not. And so I think that the book talks about these contributors experiences, and they're trying to say, look, let's raise our level of consciousness. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
So when we go into these circles, we are much more aware of, of maybe the microaggressions that we commit, and not not really be aware of it. So that's, that's one thing. The other thing about what walking away from colorizing restorative  justice. I think we just wanted to say, like, there's a lot of work to do. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. And that we've got to understand that we have to have this kind of literature, especially at a time in the States when, you know, and you have the Black Lives Matter, school to prison pipeline, you know, the criminalization of black and brown bodies. I mean, those are, those are such a stark contrast today. And we see the polarity in this country, really a racial divide. Um, you know, and I think he calls the question just as the American experiment that people have, you know, put a lot of myths around that, an idealized it. And the fact is, is the centers not holding anymore, so people have got to do something. And so maybe, maybe in the bigger picture, we began to have to engage each other. Whether we'd like to or not, I mean, it's just, it's just the spiral of these communities now.

Tomay Douglas  
Thank you for that feedback. I really, I like the concept or the framework that you presented in terms of the first time and then the second harm, and really being able to embrace that. 

Dr. Edward Valandra  
I just, you know, I just think we're, we're moving into very uncharted territory within the the US and perhaps Canada, and it's gonna, that unchartered territory is, you know, whatever the guardrails are signposts that were there, historically, or maybe even in the last 30 years, they've been pulled out. And so we're going to, it's going to be messy. But that's okay. To have this messiness going on. But I think the real thing is to have these much needed discussions on communities of color, and then whites, because we just have to reset these relationships. And a lot has to do with white supremacy. And how to, how to undo that, how to unpack that how to deconstruct that. Because, you know, it's been said before, I haven't been the first one to say this. But, you know, people, you know, white people's liberation is so tied up with people of color and indigenous peoples liberation. If we don't have the liberation, they don't have a liberation. And that has to get that has got to be good and home. So anyway, nice question, Wow.

Tomay Douglas  
Wonderful.

Tomay Douglas  
Thank you for taking time to be here with us today, and we hope you stay tuned for our next episode. And for more information about colorizing, restorative justice, or contacting the authors or learning more about the National Center on restorative justice and our partner organizations, please go and check out the link in our bio.

Elana Ojibwe  
This project is supported by grant number 2020. And you see x k 001, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the US Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for crimes, victims of crime and smart office. Points of View images or opinions in this document. And are those of the author do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice?