True Dialogue

Honouring Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Specialized Training & Facilitation Services

Family Group Conference Training

(Family Group Decision-Making)

Circles by virtue of its construct, offer a culturally competent approach families & professionals appreciate.  A smaller talking circle is useful during assessment in Child Intervention Services to determine risk, safety concerns, behavioural challenges, and reach common understandings on how to move forward.  Circles are universal in application and can be applied in any setting to build trust and understanding.  When a child, youth, family, student, client, is open to receiving help from formal services, representatives such as Caseworkers, Probation/Correctional/Peace Officers, and Educators are good candidates to facilitate Circles “Family Meetings”.  In circumstances where students, clients, members are uncooperative or distrustful of formal services, using a community facilitator (3rd party) offers a viable engagement alternative. 

A family group conference is an inclusive process where everyone, including disconnected relatives & kin-like family, are invited to develop a safety or permanency plan for the benefit of a child at risk/involved with Child Intervention Services.  Understanding Historic Trauma & how facilitators can incorporate a circle process for Aboriginal families and other marginalized populations to begin a process of recovery and stop the cycle of violence is a central feature. This training offers experiential learning, role plays, and an opportunity for candidates to be supported in the design and facilitation of a Talking Circle or Family Group Conference where families feel engaged & empowered.

True Dialogue Certificate Training - is designed in response to an agency's specific learning outcomes.  Can range from basic introductory presentation to Facilitation Skills development offering learning events and coaching support, and train the trainer to build capacity within an agency.  

Facilitating Restorative Justice Conferences

2 Day International Institute for Restorative Practices Certificate Training

Learn how to facilitate restorative conferences for youth involved in the criminal justice system and school based conflicts — structured meetings that bring together everyone affected by an incident of wrongdoing or conflict to discuss how they have been affected and decide how to repair the harm. This training is valuable for school educators, police, youth care workers in a group home or correctional setting, social workers, youth justice committees, crown prosecutors, and probation.


·        give crime victims a chance to express their feelings directly to offenders, supported by family and friends

·        let the person causing harm hear directly from the people they’ve affected

·        truly resolve conflicts

·        empower persons causing harm to take responsibility for their actions

·        hold offenders accountable

·        provide opportunities to decide how to repair harm

·        provide an opportunity for healing for victims, offenders and their communities of care

·        work toward reintegrating persons causing harm back into their community

·        break cycles of misbehavior and disruption


·        how to prepare for and facilitate a restorative conference

·        using the restorative conferencing script & role of an Elder/Pastor

·        do’s and don’ts for facilitators

·        sociological and psychological foundations of restorative conferencing

·        dynamics of victimization

  •     differences between restorative and punitive approaches to discipline

 Training can be applied towards a graduate certificate or degree in Restorative Practices offered by the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate Program. 

Developing A Restorative Practice Framework & Effective use of Circles

Indigenous Stream

2 Day Certificate Training

How can we effectively address the transmission of violence linked to the experience of residential school and colonization to advance the process of Canadian reconciliation?  

As a way of thinking and being, restorative practice provides a construct for building community and strengthening families.  The notion of working restoratively, a relationship based approach, offers a powerful model for reconciliation and self-determination for historically oppressed populations.

Interactive experiences will bring you to a full understanding of the fundamental unifying premise of restorative practice—where people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their lives when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to or for them.  Participants will come away with an understanding of restorative principles, a framework for incorporating community values (traditional ways of knowing) into action, and practical tools you can apply immediately in your workplace, family or community setting.   It is not meant to replace what is deemed effective, but rather to enhance it. 

Training is designed to challenge our assumptions and build on the collective wisdom of everyone present.  Core components will include an understanding of historic trauma, the impact, effective ways to re-build trust and restore a climate of respect, where people feel connected, supported, and communities are thriving.  Participants will explore Aboriginal worldview and experience the power of Circles for creating a positive social climate, as a prevention model. 

As an intervention, Circles can be effective when challenging behaviour or responding to wrongdoing by promoting relational accountability, learning and growth.  A restorative response to wrongdoing focuses on repairing the harm by restoring the relationship among persons impacted.  The aim is to successfully reintegrate an individual engaged in hurtful/harmful behaviour to be a contributing member of their family, community, workplace, and the larger society or nation. 

Participants will learn practical strategies to build strong, healthy relationships with students, families, clients, members, employees and colleagues; and can be applied to facilitate a whole system change.    Training can be applied towards a graduate certificate or degree in Restorative Practices offered by the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate Program.