Ripples of Relationship

Ripples of Relationship

At its core, Restorative Justice defines justice as honouring the inherent worth of all human beings regardless of who they are or what they do. It accepts that people are relational beings whose well-being is nurtured or diminished through our interconnectedness. It is a framework for understanding how we live together in community. As such, RFNL understands justice to be the core of community, education, as well as the judicial context.

This Ripples of Relationships diagram illustrates relational connections in the context of a school. Here, an educator’s relationships within the whole and how core beliefs begin by affecting the relationship with self. Our relationship with self then affects all our other relationships. As leaders, when educators honour and respect themselves as having dignity, they can then engage in healthy relationships with others, their tasks, and their contexts. A similar diagram could be created for the students, the parents, and the broader school community.

This brief informational video applies theory and philosophy to principles and practice of Restorative Justice in Education.

(Source: Pidgeon, M. (2016). More than a checklist: Meaningful Indigenous inclusion in higher education. Social Inclusion,
4(1), 77–91.)

Indigenous Wholistic Framework

At RFNL we continually try to grow our understanding of relationship. We are always trying to further understand how we know each other through each other.

In this time in history, it is helpful to reflect on Michelle Pidgeon's Indigenous Wholistic Framework. Pidgeon (2016) says that this diagram "represents for me, as a person of Mi'kmaq ancestry a way of centering who I am... This Framework connects not only the philosophical underpinnings of Indigenous knowledges but attempts pictorially to represent the complexity of wholistic interconnections that we have as individuals, to our communities, nations, and global communities" (p. 80).

In all aspects of society, Restorative Justice requires that we focus on relationships before rules and behaviour, on people before policies, on honouring before measuring, and on well-being before success. RFNL focuses first on education recognizing that the work done in educational institutions/organizations can serve as a model for all others. This occurs through a stance where educators turn from judgement to a sense of wonder and curiosity allowing education to be proactive, rather than reactive, with pedagogy that is consistently rooted in respect, concern, and dignity through relationships. We strive to ensure that these things permeate every aspect of society so that they do not become siloed, and we can nurture relationality.