2023 Alaska Circle Keepers Training Application
RurAL CAP presents the 2023 Alaska Circle Keepers Training on January 24-26 in Anchorage, AK.
This training aims to introduce participants to different situations that can be addressed with the traditional practice of Circle Keeping. The training will familiarize participants with the role of Circle Keeper – the facilitation of Talking Circles with the purpose of creating an environment and the opportunity to discuss important and sometimes difficult things in a good way. The Resource Basket and Alaska Tribal Justice Resource Center (RurAL CAP's OJJDP and BJA funded TTA centers) will collaborate to provide experiential and lecture-based learning opportunities in two tracks, respectively - the use of Circles in youth programs and Tribal courts.
In the youth program track, participants will learn, share and practice diverse processes and purposes of a Circle to mediate harm and conflict, while supporting youth in a manner aligned with community values. As a tool, the Circle can divert youth offenders from the state justice system, while also supporting them in school-based and other tribal community settings. Participants will learn and share the intentions, philosophies and styles of different approaches to using a Circle for restorative practices, and identify an approach aligned with their community’s value of supporting Alaska Native youth, while restoring overall community wellness.
In the Tribal court track, participants will learn and practice Circle Keeping as a restorative justice tool that is not only responsive to crime but preventive of future harms. It encourages accountability and self-discipline rather than acquiescence, and builds and rebuilds healthy relationships within the community. Circles hold offenders accountable by providing an environment that encourages owning their actions and the harm they have caused to victims and the community. Utilizing a traditional approach to justice that goes to the root of the harm caused rather than the violation enhances public safety by transforming conflict into an opportunity for relationship building and mutual understanding. Although Circles may not be an appropriate response to all offenses, they offer a powerful tool for tribes to exercise sovereignty, resolve conflict and enhance community well-being through the practice of restorative justice.
Registration is free and travel scholarships are available.