Community Safety Planning with Public Safety Canada
From March 2016 through till March 2017 I had the honour to work on a very important project with Public Safety Canada – redesigning, and then teaching, a new process to support Canadian Indigenous communities in crisis. The project, for me, culminated in a giant binder with hundreds of pages or resources and five intensive days of training. But in truth, the project is just beginning as these facilitators are now fanning out across the country to work with communities.
The design brief seemed very simple, but in reality the process was hard and possibly one of the most emotional projects I have ever been part of. Designing six sessions for highly trained facilitators to use with communities to help members articulate their vision of the future and then identify specific actions and timelines to help achieve the vision is complicated, but not impossible. The hard part was connecting with people who have lived through real trauma, who need to share their stories, but who rarely find a safe space from which to share, or people who will listen and empathize.
Sometimes games really help create a safe space, but sometimes the right thing to do is just stop and listen.