Restorative Justice Symposium returns to TRU

Aboriginal reconciliation through restorative justice at the forefront of this year's symposium

An original painting being auctioned off at the upcoming Restorative Justice Symposium on Nov. 14. (Image TRU)

An original painting being auctioned off at the upcoming Restorative Justice Symposium on Nov. 14. (Image TRU)

Next month, Thompson Rivers University will be holding its third annual Restorative Justice Symposium. The event will focus on using restorative justice to promote reconciliation with Aboriginal groups at TRU and in Canada.

Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour, a sessional lecturer in the school of social work and human service, will be speaking at the event along with Lisa Cooke, an assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology and Alana Abramson, who has spoken at past events and works closely with restorative justice.

The last two restorative justice symposiums TRU has held were all day events that touched on broader topics of restorative justice. Guest speakers included representatives of organizations who had been actively working with and practicing restorative justice, as well as individuals who had personally experienced the benefits of restorative justice.

The organizers of this year’s event decided to hold a smaller symposium to encourage people to attend.

“Our thought is that by scaling down the event and hosting it on a weekday evening, the symposium may be more accessible to people,” Cooke said.

Restorative Justice Week will be recognized across Canada and around the world this year starting Nov. 20. There is a growing discussion around the need for the reconciliation of the injustices experienced by Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and the need for our justice system to start applying these alternative justice strategies.

Being auctioned off at the event is an original painting that represents aspects of restorative justice. It was created by a TRU student in the department of sociology and anthropology. All proceeds from the silent auction will be going to next year’s symposium.

“I would encourage anyone interested in indigenous studies, social justice, criminology, law or indigenous-settler relationships in Canada to attend,” Cooke added.

The event will be free for all to attend and will run from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 14 at the Irving K. Barber Centre.