Source: (2011) Revisioning Justice. Restorative Justice Week 2011. Correctional Services Canada.

Several years ago, when I first began working as a restorative justice (RJ) facilitator in a First Nations community, I found myself needing to do some real “soul searching”. As a First Nations person myself, knowing well the results of the legacy of colonization, forced assimilation, forced removal from traditional lands and life ways, and seeing that I was being asked to facilitate a restorative process in this community, the question for me was, “Restore people to what?”. Because of the decades of systemic oppression, the community was wrought with violence, dysfunction, corruption, high unemployment and other negative social issues that have become common place to most First Nations communities across Turtle Island. I was questioning being involved with a process whereby even if folks experienced, to a certain extent, making things right there was still the question of the environment and context from which the conflict arose in the first place. How does a RJ program or process, community, or society for that matter, tackle such a huge issue? I believe the question is the same in whichever community context we find ourselves in because of the pervasive systemic injustices that surround us in this modern world. (excerpt)