Team RAWHIDE consist of Melisse Watson who will be travelling to Orillia, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie from March 14-22nd. 

‘As part of Ontario’s New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs, the province supports a variety of programs that help Aboriginal people take responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities. The province is committed to working with the Aboriginal community to develop an Aboriginal Justice Strategy to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system. Aboriginal Community Justice programs, funded by Ontario and the federal government, allow local communities to offer culturally appropriate ways to help Aboriginal people deal with the criminal justice system.’ – Government of Ontario

I will be travelling to multiple communities engaging in ‘Transformative Justice’, or similar self-governance practices to share knowledge, challenges and successes. This learning will take me to Orillia to learn about Transformative Justice within a Healing Lodge, to Sudbury to engage with Sudbury’s Restorative Justice Centre and community artists from Myths and Mirrors, and finally, collaborating with Thinking Rock Community Arts in Sault Ste. Marie.

I hope to learn how practices of transformative justice mirror, connect to, and stem from Indigenous teachings and governance models. I hope to gain further knowledge on the intersection of arts-based community building and restorative justice models, and learn the processes necessary to responsibly implement these practices. I would like this knowledge to inform processes on how to build bridges between Black and Indigenous discourse around reparations, reconciliation and solidarity. All these learnings will inform RAWHIDE and it’s governance, as well as provide me with a greater skill set to contribute to the 4Rs Youth Movement team.

Connect with Melisse: mwatson@marsdd.comMelisse-Watson-headshot-lowres-circle-150x150.png