Saturday, May 26, 2018

Talking Circles: A Dialogic Method for Doing Good in Culturally Responsive and Participatory Evaluations


This experiential workshop is designed to support CES’ commitment to incorporating reconciliation in its values and practices. Participants will learn how to use a culturally-responsive, restorative, and trauma-informed practice, the Circle, in a variety of contexts. Circles create a safe and non-threatening environment for participants to share their experiences and perspectives, to be heard, and to listen to others. It is a tool that does not necessarily perpetuate a culture of white supremacy, but allows for emphasis on identity, relationships, and the exchange of information, as well as appreciation, reflection, inclusion, non-hierarchical distribution of power, non-dualistic thinking, allowance for conflict, collective identity (as opposed to individualism), and subjectivity. Attendees will participate in Circles, discussions and role-plays and will practice keeping a Circle. Attendees will also learn about trauma as a biological response, how trauma manifests in behaviors, intergenerational trauma, and how to facilitate evaluations through a trauma-informed lens.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to facilitate Circles in a variety of evaluation contexts; how to discern when Circles could be used; how to emphasize the values of respect and reconciliation in evaluation processes
  • The effect of trauma and intergenerational trauma and how to implement trauma-informed evaluation approaches that minimize harm and create space for potential healing
  • Culturally responsive methods for building and restoring relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and to expand these methods to other marginalized and oppressed populations


Dr. Martha A. Brown

Dr. Martha A. Brown, President of RJAE Consulting, is a renowned author, evaluator, presenter, and teacher of restorative justice. Dr. Brown is Lead Instructor for Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies Certificate in Restorative Justice and is author of the new book, Creating Restorative Schools: Setting Schools Up to Succeed. She has presented at National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, AEA and CES conferences and is widely published.


Schedule | Saturday, May 26 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Language | English

Level | Intermediate

Prerequisites | A basic familiarity with TRC recommendations and its effect on the Canadian evaluation landscape; experience facilitating focus groups; an open mind and heart; familiarity with participatory, empowerment, developmental and/or culturally responsive evaluation approaches.