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  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:18 AM | Anonymous

    The 2018 Alberta ADR Symposium is quickly approaching! We sat down with the Symposium Co-Chairs, Gilbert Van Nes (Alberta Environmental Appeal Board) and Gordon Andreiuk (Collaborative Divorce Edmonton) to chat about the opportunities provided by the Symposium.

    Why a “Symposium”? What makes this different from a traditional conference?

    The Symposium is a celebration of the powerful work that the ADR community has done in Alberta over the last 20 years. Alberta is a world leader in some sectors - but not all. We want to explore what is possible in the next 20 years. How can our ADR community come together to continue to make Alberta an even better place? How can we continue to move the public and institutions away from the courtroom, and make ADR the first choice to resolve disputes? In choosing the word Symposium, we wanted to make it clear this will be the beginning of a sustained conversation about ADR. We are bringing together groups practicing ADR find out about each other, build on our common goals and interests, and to begin having a collective impact.

    What does “Collective Impact” mean?

    Collective Impact provides a framework for community change, situated within the broad frame of collaborative efforts focusing on creating systems changes and policy change. There are five core conditions for a collective impact to take root:

    • the development of a common agenda;
    • using shared measurement to understand progress;
    • building on mutually reinforcing activities;
    • engaging in continuous communications and
    • providing a backbone of resources to move the work forward.

    Just like interest-based skills help manage a conversation during conflict, collective impact is a way to manage a conversation during cooperation and working together to encourage change. It provides a structure for the conversation, and a method to identify and achieve the change necessary for the wider use of ADR in Alberta over the next 20 years. We want to build on common goals held by the diverse range of ADR practitioners and work together as partners to achieve positive change.

    Who are the Symposium partners?

    The Symposium partners are the Government of Alberta’s Dispute Resolution Network (DRN) and the many non-governmental organizations doing work in the ADR sector.

    The DRN is a volunteer community of ADR practitioners who work for or provide services to all parts of the Government of Alberta, and the DRN regularly provides training for its membership.

    The Symposium is the DRN’s first opportunity to partner with ADR practitioners outside Government, in community groups, not-for-profits, and education organizations. The non-governmental partners include the ADR Institute of Alberta, the Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association, the Foundation for Administrative Justice, and the National Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Canada, to name but a few. It is the broadest opportunity we have ever had to have a conversation about the core values of dispute resolution, and barriers to the expansion of ADR. We are looking to partner with anyone in the community who believes that ADR is a better way to resolve disputes.

    What is the expected outcome of the Symposium?

    We have no preconceived notions about the outcomes of the Symposium; it is truly up to the participants. We believe it is time for us to critically analyze how Albertans conduct and engage in dispute resolution. We believe that continuous improvement requires critical and constructive analysis of how we are doing things. What can we accomplish together if we look critically at how ADR has developed within institutions? What can we do better than we are doing now? Are there ways of doing things that need to be left behind? We are ready to identify common goals of the participants and develop a plan to move forward in Alberta.

    Why should I attend the Symposium?

    The Symposium will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about the broader dispute resolution community, discuss, learn, and contribute to something that connects to the core values of every ADR practitioner. We invite you to join the conversation and engage in shaping the future of ADR of Alberta.

    The 2018 Alberta ADR Symposium is May 15 & 16, 2018 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The Early Bird rate of $249 goes until April 12, 2018.

    For more information, visit the 2018 Alberta ADR Symposium website.

  • Monday, March 05, 2018 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    Are you applying for a Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation this March?

    A Supervised Mock Mediation is a valuable opportunity for you to meet your experiential requirements for the application and to be supervised by an ADRIA approved and experienced Chartered Mediator.

    There are two ways to arrange for a Supervised Mock Mediation:

    Option 1

    You contact coaches on your own and arrange your own role-players and meeting space.

    This option is great if you have been participating in practice groups and you have made a peer group from which to draw your role-players (it is very important that you choose role-players whom you trust to provide the appropriate level of conflict, recognize when to shift, and recognize when not to shift). 

    You must bring the Supervised Mock Mediation Form with you.  Available here.

    You can save about 50% this way (prices are negotiated with the coaches). 

    Contact for a list of approved coaches in Edmonton and Calgary.

    Option 2

    If you decide to have ADRIA arrange your Supervised Mock Mediations (SMMs) then you will need to provide the following:

    1. Indicate to that you wish to proceed with booking
    2. Provide ADRIA with a minimum of two options of date and time .The deadline for arranging a Supervised Mock Mediation is no later than 2 weeks before the designation application deadline.
    3. ADRIA will invoice you ($350 + GST per SMM) and once paid we will book a supervisor and two role-players.
    4. I will confirm via email once room, supervisor, and role-players have been booked
    5. You can choose your own role-play scenario (send me the file you wish to use and I will distribute to role-players), or one can be chosen for you.

  • Monday, October 16, 2017 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    Conflict Resolution Day is quickly approaching! This year it’s on October 19, 2017.

    The goal of Conflict Resolution Day is to get Albertans talking about their options to work through conflict in a positive and productive way. 

    The theme of Conflict Resolution Day is Let’s Talk ADR. The term ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution and describes all the choices available to prevent and manage conflict in a non-adversarial way, including: mediation, arbitration, and restorative practices.

    For more information, visit the Conflict Resolution Day website

    Here is how you can take part in Conflict Resolution Day!

    ADR Luncheon in Edmonton: Why We Jump to Conclusions & How to Avoid It

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017 from 11:30 AM  to 1:30 PM
    at Buffet Royale, 3318 Gateway Blvd, Edmonton

    Join us at our ADR Luncheon in Edmonton on Wednesday, October 18th.

    Learn why we jump to conclusions so readily, how this adversely affects our communications with others, and gain useful tips on how to change this tendency.

    This event is open to both members of ADRIA and non-members, so bring a guest or two. Everyone bringing a guest will be entered for a door prize, so share this learning opportunity and celebrate the important contribution that YOU make in Alberta's conflict resolution community.

    Details & Registration

    Send Us Your Conflict Resolution Selfies!

    We are collecting selfies to share on our website and social media on October 19 to celebrate Conflict Resolution Day.

    We want to engage the public and get Albertans talking about Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    Take a picture of yourself holding one of our signs:

    This Conflict Resolution Day, I resolve to...

    or print the blank template to create your own!

    Pictures can be submitted to Kristy Rhyason at as soon as possible.

    Check Out a Public Event

    Public events are being held across the province. Check the list below to see what’s happening near you:


    Learning Event: ADR Panel 
    Hosted by: University of Calgary - Faculty of Law
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 12:00
    Location: Murray Fraser Hall 2500 University Drive Room 2370
    Open to: U of C Law Students and public
    Details: Join us for a panel discussing ADR and how it's used to solve legal issues. Official list of panelists coming soon but will likely include practicing lawyers who use ADR, practicing non-lawyer mediators and a faculty member from U of C.


    Learning Event: Why we Jump to Conclusions and How to Avoid It  
    Hosted by: Conflict Resolution Day Planning Committee
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 4:30-5:30pm
    Location: Heritage Room, Edmonton City Hall
    Open to: Public
    Details: In this one hour workshop we will talk about why we jump to conclusions, the dangers of doing so and a practical approach to stop you in your tracks, improve decision-making and help you work better with others in your team, partnership, or network. 
    Contact: RSVP to
    Event: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Information Fair
    Hosted by: Conflict Resolution Day Planning Committee
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Location: Edmonton City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
    Open to: Public
    Details: ADR programs and practitioners will showcase their services, provide information on the benefits of ADR, and assist individuals with how to access ADR resources in their community. 

    (If you are an ADR practitioner and would like to participate in the ADR Information Fair, please contact


    Learning Event: Why we Jump to Conclusions and How to Avoid It  
    Hosted by: Alternative Justice​ 
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm and 7:00 - 8:00 pm
    Location: Innisfail Learning Centre (Library)
    Open to: Inter-Agency Partners and Public
    Details: Identifying and managing assumptions for better communication.
    Contact: RSVP to 780-966-0165


    Learning Event: How to Work with Your Conflict Management Style
    Hosted by: Lethbridge College
    Date: Monday, October 16
    Time: 8:00am to 3:50pm
    Location: Lethbridge College
    Open to: Post Secondary Community, General Public
    Details: Join us on campus to find our your conflict management style and why we jump to conclusions. You will also get some strategies on how to work with your conflict management style. No RSVP required.

    Medicine Hat

    Learning Event: Why we Jump to Conclusions and How to Avoid It  
    Hosted by: Alberta Justice Dispute Resolution Services Staff
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm
    Location: Medicine Hat Provincial Court House 
    Open to: Inter-Agency Partners and Public
    Details: In this one hour workshop we will talk about why we jump to conclusions, the dangers of doing so and a practical approach to stop you in your tracks, improve decision-making and help you work better with others in your team, partnership, or network. 
    RSVP by October 16, 2017, TO or call 403-297-5536

    Sherwood Park

    Learning Event: Why we Jump to Conclusions and How to Avoid It  
    Hosted by: Strathcona County Community Mediation 
    Date: Thursday, October 19
    Time: 12:00 - 1:00pm OR and 6:00 - 7:00pm (2 sessions)
    Location: 501 Festival Avenue, Sherwood Park 
    Open to: All are welcome! 
    Details: In this one hour workshop we will talk about why we jump to conclusions, the dangers of doing so and a practical approach to stop you in your tracks, improve decision-making and help you work better with others in your team, partnership, or network. 
    RSVP: to by October 16th. 

    Happy Conflict Resolution Day!

  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    We are looking for a bright and energetic person to fill the role of Administrative Assistant at ADRIA. The position will average 20 hours per week in our Edmonton office.

    Read the full job posting below or download the job description as a PDF

    Apply by sending a cover letter and your resume to by October 27, 2017

    Administrative Assistant

    Type of Position: Part time

    Hours: Average 20/week

    Location: Edmonton

    The ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) is a non-profit organization that serves its members, the public, and its clients throughout the province.  ADRIA is a recognized and well-respected professional membership association for mediators, arbitrators, and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practitioners in Alberta. 

    ADRIA is seeking a part-time administrative assistant to support our Edmonton office.

    Position Description

    The Position: As the ADRIA Administrative Assistant, your responsibilities include member services administration; working with the Executive Director & the Board of Directors, and supporting a small office team. The successful candidate will have strong problem-solving and technology skills, and must possess:

    • strong oral and written communication skills;
    • excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism;
    • excellent organizational and time management skills;
    • the ability to work independently, but also as an integral part of an effective team;
    • creativity and initiative, paired with a willingness to embrace new ideas or programs;
    • patience, paired with a sincere desire to work collaboratively with, or in support of others; and
    • good judgement, paired with effective decision-making skills.

    The Work Parameters: This is a 20 hours/week position with flexibility in working and contractual arrangements to suit both the organization and the successful candidate.  Compensation and benefits are competitive with non-profit organizations of similar size.   

    This position requires a degree of flexibility as the successful candidate will be required to provide occasional after-hours and/or extra-hours support for special events, periods of high demand or activity, and vacation coverage for team members.  The organization itself is also flexible in terms of accommodating its employees’ personal and professional pursuits.

    Skills & Duties

    Member, volunteer, and partner organization support:

    • provide information and support to new and current individual and organizational members,
    • maintain online member database, and maintain historical records,
    • maintain professional rosters,
    • manage Directory and Designation applications,
    • maintain job and volunteer board, and event postings on the website,
    • manage Volunteers, including committee and task force administration,
    • organize events (luncheons, AGM, Board of Directors’ meetings),
    • assist with conferences and learning events,
    • manage incoming invoices.

    Executive (Board of Directors) & Executive Director support:

    • arrange and organize meetings,
    • take messages, manage email accounts and ensure follow-up,
    • update public and private website pages,
    • prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, and record and transcribe minutes,
    • interpret documentation in order to draft correspondence, reports or web content,
    • schedule and manage appointments and meetings using electronic calendar systems,
    • make travel arrangements, prepare expense reports, order and maintain office supplies,
    • transcribe material from handwritten notes, flip charts or digital dictation,
    • draft, edit, format or proofread documents for executives.

    Administrative Duties

    • answer telephones, greet visitors, and handle business and administrative details,
    • open, sort and distribute correspondence and respond to routine inquiries,
    • order, organize and maintain office supplies and equipment.


    • be comfortable with computer applications, troubleshoot hardware and software problems,
    • handle basic bookkeeping duties such as accounts payable and receivable and the reconciliation of accounts, contact members to collect membership and course payments,
    • maintain, improve and/or develop an effective records management system (including classifying and coding both electronic and hardcopy files),
    • assist in the maintenance of organization’s website, including periodic proofreading and checks,
    • use word processing, spreadsheet, database or presentation software to prepare reports, memos, letters, financial statements, and other documents.

    Coverage (vacation or illness)

    • provide coverage for Education Department,
    • provide coverage for CAMVAP desk (Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan).

    The Successful Candidate

    • You take personal ownership and responsibility for the quality and timeliness of your work.
    • You follow organizational guidelines, professional standards, regulations and principles.
    • You adapt readily to changing conditions, priorities, technologies and requirements.
    • You enjoy the challenge of working independently and creatively towards targets provided in ADRIA’s strategic and operational plans.
    • Your planning and organizing skills are evident in your ability to establish priorities and identify critical tasks. 
    • Meeting commitments and responding promptly to requests and complaints is part of the superior service you provide.
    • The value of teamwork shows in your daily actions and in soliciting feedback from all levels of the organization.
    • You respect the unique skills and contributions of all team members, demonstrate cooperation and collaboration, appreciate diversity in all its forms, and support team decisions.
    • Your existing or developing understanding of, and support for, the profession of ADR enables you to successfully represent the organization when interacting with the many sectors in which it functions (family, community, government, legal, academic, HR, labour, industry, corporate, etc).  
    • You have administration experience, ideally with a non-profit organization in a related area. 

    How to Apply

    Send a cover letter and your resume to by October 27, 2017No phone calls please.  Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

  • Sunday, August 13, 2017 9:02 AM | Anonymous

    by Tammy Borowiecki, Director, Professional Development

    *Updated for 2017*

    This is the time of year members are considering applying for a professional designation, so I thought I would summarize the application process in simple terms.

    The four designations - Chartered Mediator (C.Med), Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb), Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) and Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) - are awarded by the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC). These designations allow members to convey their level of experience and skill in a way that is recognized internationally. You can find out more on our Designations page. 

    ADRIA administers the first part of the application process for our members and sends the applications and recommendations to ADRIC for final approval. Applications are accepted in March and September each year.

    Criteria for Arbitration Designations

    To apply for a Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) designation you need to have completed a 40-hour approved arbitration course and passed the exam. 

    ADRIA runs the National Introductory Arbitration course in Calgary twice per year and in Edmonton three times per year. On the last day of the course, you will view an arbitration hearing video and are provided with written evidence. You have 30-days from the last day of this course to write an Award on this case. The exam is pass/fail. A pass fulfills the requirements to apply for a Q.Arb designation. 

    No practical experience is needed to apply for a Q.Arb designation however you still need to go through the application process - a designation is not automatically issued simply by completing the course.

    To apply for a Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb) designation you need to have completed and passed an approved Arbitration course as described above, plus you must have practical experience in arbitration. Specifically, you must have chaired at least 10 fee-paid arbitrations and provide at least 2 awards that you have written for review by the Designation Committee.    

    Criteria for Mediation Designations

    To apply for a Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation you need education, practical experience and reference letters. 

    The educational requirement is 80 hours of ADR training of which 40 hours must be a single, pre-approved mediation course. The other 40 hours can be a combination of courses, but must be in ADR and must be training, so you can't just take a psychology course or legal course or go to a conference.

    ADRIA runs the National Introductory Mediation course in Calgary and Edmonton three times per year. Other pre-approved courses are offered at Mount Royal University and the Justice Institute of BC. If you are unsure if a course would qualify towards your designation, please contact the ADRIA office. 

    For the practical experience requirement, you need two real (actual) solo mediations (paid or unpaid), or two supervised mock mediations, or one of each.

    For the real mediations, you are required to provide a 300-500 word summary of each mediation following the guidelines in the Q.Med application form. 

    For the supervised mock mediations, the supervisor must be on ADIRA’s roster of supervisors who have been approved by the designation committee. The supervisor must complete a review form and submit their approval to the office. The supervised mock mediations can be arranged through ADRIA for a fee of $350 (plus GST) each or you can schedule them privately as long as you use a supervisor on the roster. 

    For the references requirement you need two professional letters of recommendation and one personal letter of recommendation. 

    To apply for a Chartered Mediator (C.Med) designation you need education, practical experience, reference letters and a skills assessment.

    The educational requirement is 180 hours of ADR training, including the same 40-hour pre-approved mediation course requirement as for the Q.Med. The other 140 hours can be a combination of ADR courses. 

    For the practical experience requirement, you need 15 solo, fee-paid mediations. 

    For the references requirement you need two professional letters of recommendation and one personal letter of recommendation. 

    The skills assessment is a one-hour role-play observed by three assessors approved by the designations committee. Two of the assessors will act as the role-players and one assessor will observe and take notes. Approval by at least two assessors is required to pass the skills assessment. This assessment is conducted separately and apart from any classroom evaluation occurring as part of the students’ mediation training and must be booked through ADRIA. It is recommended that you schedule your assessment after you have met all of the other requirements for a C.Med designation as the assessment must be completed within two years of applying for your designation. The fee for this assessment is $475 plus GST.

    Applicants who have their Qualified Mediator (Q.Med) designation and who passed the Chartered Mediator assessment as part of that application process, do not need to complete a new assessment for their Chartered Mediator (C.Med) application.

    Additional information for all designations

    The designation application fee is $200 plus GST. 

    After you have been granted a designation, there is an annual fee to maintain your designation. The fee is $99 plus GST for Q.Arb and Q.Med designations and $178 plus GST for C.Arb and C.Med designations. The fee is payable to ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC) due annually on January 1st

    You must remain a full-member in good standing with the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) to retain your designation. Your membership renewal with ADRIA is due yearly from the time you obtained membership. Full membership renewal with ADRIA is $295 plus GST.

    In order to be granted a designation, you are required to have professional liability insurance also known as Errors and Omissions insurance. ADRIC has negotiated a special rate with Marsh Insurance for ADR professionals. Rates start at $235 per year for Arbitrators and $145 per year for other ADR practitioners, including mediators. 

    You are also required to demonstrate Continuing Education and Engagement (CCE) in your field. Information on the Continuing Education and Engagement Program requirements can be found in your ADRIC member portal. Every three years, you are required to complete and submit a final report along with an administration fee of $94 plus GST. 

    Designation applications are accepted at the ADRIA office from September 1st through 30th, and then again March 1st through 31st, each year. Full details of the application process and the all the necessary forms are on our Designations page

  • Wednesday, July 26, 2017 12:03 PM | Anonymous
    Don't just do separation & divorce mediation. Do it well.

    Here are our top reasons why you should take separation & divorce mediation training:

    Learn from three of the most experienced separation & divorce Mediators in the Province.

    Learn from current research backed up with real life stories & examples.

    Receive a resource manual packed with materials, including copies of pertinent legislation, templates, samples agreements and a myriad of other resources that took the course authors years to accumulate.

    Learn about the potential harms that mediators can cause in this area and how to avoid or address them.

    Learn how to screen for safety issues and other complicating factors.

    Participate in robust discussions around ethical dilemmas.

    Participate in high level role plays and discussions with fellow students who all have prior mediation training.

    Become aware of and know how to manage complications such as:
    • mental health challenges,
    • domestic violence, and
    • the emotional intensity involved when couples and families are dealing with major life changes.
    Practice mediating real life separation & divorce mediation scenarios.

    Receive Continuing Education Credits(CECs) to put toward your C.Med or Q.Med designation.

    Our next Separation & Divorce training is in Edmonton on September 14-16 & 18-19. Register here

  • Monday, July 24, 2017 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    Consider volunteering for any of these important opportunities and enhancing your professional qualifications.  Earn CEE points and network with your peers.

    ADRIA is a member-driven professional association that relies on an active and engaged membership to sustain its momentum. As the summer months pass, and we begin thinking about our Fall endeavours, consider dedicating some hours to a worthwhile project in support of the ADR profession. ADRIA and others offer a wealth of opportunities to engage with your peers, enhance your profile and advance the profession. 

    What areas have caught your attention recently? What areas do you think need attention? Contact us to discuss where your talents could be put to the best use or express interest in any of the suggestions below. We are always happy to hear from you. Write a note to the Board at or contact the Executive Director, Paul Conway at 780-433-4881 ext 111.

    Advancing the interests and potential of ADR practitioners in Alberta lies at the core of our mandate as YOUR professional association.
    Here are some areas where your talents could be put to use:
    • Host an activity for Conflict Resolution Day on October 19th, or participate on the provincial committee. Read about the Invitation for Facilitators on our blog. Register online and visit to get more information. SAVE THE DATE - Oct 3rd 1:30 to 3:30 for a Train the Trainer session in advance of CR Day.
    • Volunteer for the ADRIA Task Force on Training and Designation Standards.  Contact or visit our website for details.
    • Put your name forward for the ADRIA Board of Directors by updating your member profile or expressing interest in an email to
    • Serve on a Mediator or Arbitration Designation Committee by contacting the ED at
    • Volunteer to represent Alberta on an ADR Canada national committee.  You can view your options on the ADRIC website.  
    • Contribute to ADRIA Newsletters, blog and social media by contacting Kristy at  We always need contributors, ideas and articles of interest.
    • Create public content for our ADRIA website in your area of expertise. Inform the general public on ADR issues, including eldercare, succession planning, ADR clauses for contracts and bylaws, construction/engineering, condominium disputes, commercial applications, or any area of ADR. Contact Kristy at
    • Get involved in planning our first ever Alberta ADR Symposium May 15-16 2018 (a government/non-profit undertaking).  Contact the Executive Director for details at .
    • Write a letter to the Board of Directors with your ideas for the future of ADRIA, ADR in Alberta, and/or regulating the profession

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    Planning is well under way for the Alberta celebration of International Conflict Resolution Day on October 19th, 2017.  

    We are asking all conflict resolution professionals who support dispute resolution practices in our province to host an event to mark the day.

    You may have your own idea about how you would like to celebrate, or you can use our one-hour workshop "Why We Jump to Conclusions and How to Avoid It".  Currently, we are in the process of finalizing our training material; however, we wanted to gauge interest of those wishing to facilitate a session (please see workshop description attachment) and send a SAVE THE DATE so you can prepare well in advance of the big day.  We will be sending a final call out to facilitators in August/September.

    We will holding a Train-the-Trainer workshop on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, from 1:30pm-3:30 pm in person in Edmonton (Commerce Place, 16th Floor, 10155-102 Street) or via live meeting web conferencing.  If you are interested in attending, or obtaining a training package (power point, etc.) when it is finalized, please contact Tara Erickson at for more information.  Please note:  If you are interested in facilitating a workshop but do not have a venue or audience, please let us know and we may be able to set you up with a corresponding contact in your area.

    You will find details about how to host an event and additional ideas on our website: If you choose to host an event, please let us know so that we can promote your event on our website.  Please provide your event details at

    We hope you will promote Conflict Resolution Day through your websites, social media, and newsletters.  You can also connect with us through our Twitter page at @CRDayAB.

    And finally, our website will have a page of alternative dispute resolution organizations and resources for the public to use.  Please let us know if you would like to be included on this list by sending your organization's name, location, website address (or email or phone number), and a one line description of the services available to the public. You can also send this to Heather Ehlers at  or reach her by phone at (780) 415-6243.

    We encourage you to share this invitation with any organizations within your network that support dispute resolution practices.

  • Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:15 PM | Anonymous

    As a way of thinking and being, restorative practice is an emerging social science founded in Justice, that provides a framework for building community where people feel connected, safe, and are thriving.  

    Belonging is perhaps the single most important feature in violence prevention.  How schools, workplaces, communities create a sense of belonging, a sense of community, is the main premise for developing an effective violence prevention strategy. 

    Restorative practices and dispute resolution training are beneficial for workplaces, schools, boards of directors and anywhere that people connect and interact within a community. 

    A restorative response (conversations, circles, conferences) is specifically designed to help an individual stay connected, even when they have made a mistake or a have been a victim of wrongdoing.  By “making things right”, restorative practices seek to knit wholeness back into a community which has been torn; it seeks to repair relationships so students/staff/family can focus on their school/work/life goals, and fully reconnect as a member of the community.  

    Rooted in Indigenous worldview or pedagogy, circles provide a safe environment for people to share their views and experiences with one another to promote understanding and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.  Circles are universal.  The principle of inclusion (egalitarianism) assures participants from diverse cultural-ethic backgrounds feel welcome and safe to be their authentic self.  According to Desmeules (2017), Restorative Justice offers a portal for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities to reclaim traditional ways of knowing (relatable to any historically oppressed population) to address hurtful/harmful behaviour to oneself/others, by reconciling underlying historic injustices with the aim of restoring safety and well-being.

    In celebration of National Aboriginal Day, the President's Aboriginal Advisory Committee members at Portage College will undertake restorative justice training. 

    The two day training is designed in partnership with the International Institute of Restorative Practices—Canada and in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.

    The President’s Advisory Committee’s function is to advise the President & CEO on the College’s history of indigenization, its current activities relative to indigenization, and possible further indigenization activities. The Committee is tasked to develop and initiate an Inclusion and Indigenization Plan that is broad-based, engenders respect, trust, and institutional growth.

    Portage College has an interesting history approaching its 50th anniversary in 2018. With funding cuts, a group of Aboriginal students faced with the pending closure of their school decided to challenge the government by staging a sit-in. Through struggle, activism and community collaboration, the programming was restored and the College steadily grew to the institution it is today.

    You can learn the full history of Portage College, directly from the stories of people involved, on their YouTube channel:

    We interviewed Dr. Trent Keough, President & CEO of Portage College, about this internal training initiative.

    How are restorative practices used at Portage College?

    Last year an employee attended a course by Gayle Desmeules from True Dialogue on resolving conflicts on campus, conflict mediation, restorative justice, and this resonated with how we dealt with conflicts on campuses in the past and how we want to journey forward within our organization and look at ways to incorporate with student life.

    We want those in conflict to take ownership, as well as have understanding how their actions impacted others, empathy to correct behavior voluntarily, as opposed to applying strict punitive actions to the individuals involved.

    We want to develop future citizens that accept and recognize their role in society with accountability.

    We want our institution to view the world as a community and recognize the impact of others. It’s a structured way to pause, bring people together and reflect to create a plan for reparation and to move forward together.

    What barriers exist to indigenizing? Why is it important?

    In comparison to many post-secondary schools in Alberta and Canada we live in respect for Indigenous culture. We could always do more and better though.

    When you look at our history and our relationship with Métis and Cree Peoples, you quickly realize that we were gifted from them to the communities we serve. We have a high proportion of Indigenous students in our institution, it fluctuates in the last 50 years but there’s a consensus we’ve historically recognized that we are on Treaty 6 Territory. That Indigenous culture has impacted the way in which we behave.  For many institutions its:  How can we Indigenize? We on the other hand are looking at shining a spotlight on how Indigenous cultures have changed our organization and our culture over time.  We see this as an opportunity to say: Where are the subtleties of Indigenization in our organization? Where are the pieces that are overt?  It’s an opportunity for us to self-explore.

    How does this training fit into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

    This training is taking place because we established the President’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, which has a cross section of people that work at the college. It is by mandate 85-90% populated by Indigenous persons. This group is leading, assessing and evaluating how well Portage College has done with Indigenization: how well we have embraced, celebrated and used Indigenous worldview in our curriculum, political and economic outlooks.

    The real sensitivity for us is that Indigenization isn’t about reverse colonization. It isn’t forcing people to think otherwise. It’s giving them the opportunity to think otherwise in a celebratory manner and a respectful manner. While we recognize that Indigenous cultures in this country historically and currently experience persecution and oppression, this is an opportunity for all Canadians to own the cultural heritage of Canada.

    We’re looking at how can we incorporate Indigenous world views into our organization so that it increases our success, magnifies and recognizes the presence of Indigenous people within our organization and the communities we serve.

    It’s about inclusion and we already see the enthusiasm for our institution being genuinely interested in exploring this topic in a healthy and helpful way. We have been shaped by working with Indigenous peoples. We need to reflect how they have influenced our practices over the years.

    What are you hoping participants take away from this training?

    A genuine openness to understand Indigenous world-view, understand the principles of restorative justice, and to ground our team in a set of principles that are formational.

    It’s a learning and team building exercise that is acutely important as we go forward with our Indigenization program. This group is going to make critical decisions regarding which elements of Indigenization the college will focus on for the next three years.

    Anything that increases awareness to individual student needs, whether they are Indigenous or not, benefits everyone. When we incorporate restorative justice best practices into conflict in this organization, it applies to everyone.

    Want more information?

    Learn more about Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training at Portage College.

    Learn more about Restorative Practices training at ADRIA.

    Want to bring dispute resolution training to your organization? Check out our Corporate and Group Training options.  

    Thank you to Gayle Desmeules, Dr. Trent Keough and Jaime Davies for their contributions to this article. 

  • Wednesday, January 18, 2017 2:56 PM | Anonymous
    Bell Let's Talk Day focuses on positive, healthy dialogue in our relationships and opening up discussion to end the stigma around mental health. That is a message we at ADRIA can endorse and encourage.

    On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Bell will donate 5¢ more towards mental health initiatives in Canada, by counting every text, call, tweet, Instagram post, Facebook video view and Snapchat geofilter.

    Having the right tools, knowing the right words to use and understanding how to correctly speak with someone experiencing a mental illness can make all the difference. Bell Let's Talk has a few tools you can access on their website to open up discussion:

    You can find these and other resources in the Bell Let's Talk Toolkit.

    Educate yourself, show kindness, and strive to be a better listener and friend. Be part of the conversation to eliminate stigma around mental health once and for all.

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