Walking in Balance Training

Walking in Balance with All Our Relations: A primary prevention curriculum based on indigenous values prior to colonization to promote the safety of Youth, Adults, and Elders in our communities from a Racial Justice and Gender Equity Lens.

These values include peace and justice, respect, balance, courage, humility, compassion, empathy, wisdom, sacredness/vision, connection to the land, generosity, and gratitude,  Elders teach and mentor adults and children in the community. The Visioning B.E.A.R. (Balance, Equality, and Respect) Circle Intertribal Coalition, a survivor led organization, co-authored the curriculum after embarking on a two-and-a-half-year journey to learn what the elders had to say about living with peace and justice with all living beings. The curriculum is divided into thirteen three-hour modules and is designed to serve as a way of life. Those who complete all thirteen modules are certified as teachers of the curriculum. A key component of the curriculum involves using the Circle Process for teaching healing and transformative/restorative practices in eliminating violence against children and Mother Earth. Plants and animals are relatives that provide medicine for the people. They are equal to human beings, having the same psychology and need for respect as humans do. Relationships with all beings need to be reciprocal and based on appreciation for the gifts each relation provides to the wellbeing of the whole of creation.  Using the Talking Stick Circle Process, this curriculum highlights the intersections of gender equity and expression, structures based on true democracy, economic justice, environmental justice and their role in preventing all forms of interpersonal violence. The curriculum develops participants’ capacity for empathy in providing healing for both those who are harmed and those who cause harm.  Commitment to conflict resolution among all beings resonates throughout the curriculum. Conflict resolution using Circle Process empowers the community to promote healthy, safe, and equitable relationships.  It is expected that those trained will work to transform systems that promote inequity and harm in tangible ways to address the structural harm that is the root of the sexual and physical violence children experience.

Goals and objectives for training:

  1. Participants will learn a culturally determined primary prevention model of eliminating interpersonal violence based on indigenous pre-colonization values and traditions.
  2. Participants will learn about a definition of the root causes of violence and racism that features an indigenous understanding that the taking of the land by white male Christians and the objectification of the environment and women are intrinsically connected.
  3. Participants will learn about a culturally determined evaluation model that is  relevant to communities of color that uses story-telling and Circle Process to both heal and prevent sexual and physical harm to children.
  4. Participants will learn how gender equity, real democracy, environmental respect, and the equitable distribution of wealth lead to peace and justice that are prerequisites for keeping children safe.

Outcomes:

  1. Participants will re-look at primary prevention based on their own community values.
  2. Participants will take a fresh look at the root causes of violence taking into account the taking of the land and resources from people of color around the world to serve the global economy.
  3. Participants will learn how culturally relevant, culturally determined evaluation models strengthen primary prevention approaches to interpersonal, environmental, economic, and systemic violence.
  4. Participants will expand their prevention strategies to consider gender equity and expression, equitable distribution of economic resources, consensus decision making, and environmental sustainability as critical aspects of a peaceful and just society.

The curriculum is evaluated in a culturally appropriate story-telling format that yields both qualitative and quantitative data.  The evaluation process is seamlessly integrated into the teaching modules. 

Participant Testimonials:

Visioning B.E.A.R Circle Intertribal Coalition

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