Anthony Joesph, Indigenous Support Worker, and Cory Hartling, Principal of Don Ross Middle School, share an important conversation with students of Don Ross Middle School about the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh word "tima kwetsi," which means "it takes as long as it takes." Tima kwetsi's meaning is essential to the restorative circle approach, an approach that assists students to work through challenging situations and move forward in a positive way. This beautiful word is shared with students before they begin the circle process as a reminder that valuable and healing work takes time.
What is a restorative circle? When participants are willing to solve a problem, they sit in a circle with an adult to facilitate the conversation. Each participant in the circle is allowed to share without interruption what happened from their perspective, how they felt at the time, and how they are feeling now. They are asked to explore who their behaviour impacted and in what way. Then each participant is asked to take responsibility for what they did wrong and makes amends with the other participants if needed. Here additional steps can be decided as a group, such as actions that need to happen in order for people to feel the wrongdoer has made things right and demonstrate that they understand the seriousness of what they did. Then the circle works together to come up with some agreements that can be made to ensure that this kind of problem will not happen in the future. Once the agreements are clear and everyone agrees, we put the issue behind us and move forward in a positive way.
Watch this video recording that describes the restorative circle process and the relevance of tima kwetsi to this practice:
This video recording is part of a series of videos with Anthony Joesph and Cory Hartling that teach Don Ross Middle School students the meaning of and how to pronounce important words in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language.