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An experiment in therapeutic planning : learning with the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw First Nations Erfan, Aftab 2013

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          AN EXPERIMENT IN THERAPEUTIC PLANNING: Learning with the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw First Nations  by  AFTAB ERFAN  A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (PLANNING)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  September 2013  ?Aftab Erfan, 2013     ii Abstract Many of the communities in which planners work are characterized by deeply rooted conflict and collective trauma, a legacy of various forms of injustice, including some that have been enabled by the planning profession itself. In this context, can planning play a healing or therapeutic role, without recreating or perpetuating the cycles of oppression? This dissertation reflects on my community-based action research on Tsulquate, a small First Nations reserve on Vancouver Island, where the Gwa?sala and ?Nakwaxda?xw people have lived since relocation in 1964. Between 2009 and 2012, and particularly over a year of intensive fieldwork, I engaged in this community to assist in the ambitious task of addressing intergenerational trauma, the importance of which was expressed within the Band?s newly created Comprehensive Community Plan.  Written as mixed-genre creative analytic process (CAP) ethnography, the dissertation tells the stories of my engagement, and in particular of a series of public, intergenerational workshops I facilitated using a methodology called Deep Democracy. I document evidence of modest but promising patterns of individual and collective ?healing? and ?transformation? in the course of the workshops, and evaluate the effectiveness of my tools and approaches using first person (reflective), second person (interpersonal), and third person (informant-based) sources of information. I argue in favour of a role for a therapeutic orientation in planning, suggesting that planning is in fact particularly well-suited to a therapeutic task given its collaborative-community focus, its ability to connect the past to the future, its practical orientation, and its relative lack of ?baggage? compared with the other helping professions. The ability to play a therapeutic or healing role is contingent, however, not only on planners learning new skills, but also on developing a set of ?metaskills? or personal attitudes ?compassion, playfulness and beginner?s mind ? that are essential for effective and ethical involvement in such sensitive settings. I argue that reflective practice is key to the making of therapeutic planners, and outline a developmental path based on a combination of personal and assisted reflective practice: journaling, meditation, artistic practice, peer coaching, and supervision.       iii Preface This dissertation is an original, independent and unpublished work by author, Aftab Erfan. Proposal for the research was approved by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (Certificate Number H10?01244).   This dissertation is entitled ?An Experiment in Therapeutic Planning? to signal the exploratory nature of this work within the emerging area of therapeutic planning. It is not intended to instruct a person to become a therapeutic planner and anyone reading this dissertation will be advised against thinking that it is a manual for practice.     iv Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................................... iv List of Illustrations ................................................................................................................................... vi Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................. vii Dedication ................................................................................................................................................... ix 1.0 Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 1 1.1. How this inquiry came to be .......................................................................................................... 1 1.2. Research and data gathering methods ................................................................................... 10 1.3. Process facilitation methods ...................................................................................................... 16 1.4. Analysis and writing methods ................................................................................................... 32 1.5. The setting and characters .......................................................................................................... 36 2.0. Beginning................................................................................................................................. 47 2.1. First Encounters .............................................................................................................................. 47 2.2. Tsulquate: a pedestrian eye-view ............................................................................................. 52 2.3. A local history of colonial planning.......................................................................................... 58 2.4. Stumbling as education ................................................................................................................ 68 2.5. Something is resonating............................................................................................................... 83 2.6. Illusions of helpless heroines .................................................................................................... 90 2.7. What ethics are we on? ................................................................................................................. 98 2.8. Should I stay or should I go now? ........................................................................................... 105 2.9. Powerlessness of words ............................................................................................................. 113 2.10. The trouble with talking about healing ............................................................................. 115 2.11. Three dreams .............................................................................................................................. 124 3.0. Middle .................................................................................................................................... 131 3.1. Parenting or the governance of the household ................................................................. 131 3.2. In the hot seat ................................................................................................................................ 138 3.3. Grandparents debriefed ............................................................................................................ 144 3.4. Putting on the showgirl .............................................................................................................. 150 3.5. The trouble with pencil crayons ............................................................................................. 155 3.7. Baby-making machines .............................................................................................................. 170 3.8. Getting caught in the field ......................................................................................................... 173 3.9. Girls who cut ................................................................................................................................... 178 3.10. Ocean as change-agent ............................................................................................................. 186 3.11. What to do about Johnny? ....................................................................................................... 189 3.12. Evaluating our work ................................................................................................................. 195 4.0. End .......................................................................................................................................... 207 4.1. No time to dry our tears ............................................................................................................. 207 4.2. Death close to home..................................................................................................................... 210 4.3. Grieving ............................................................................................................................................ 216 4.4. Letters to Jane ................................................................................................................................ 219 4.5. Where do we go from here? ...................................................................................................... 222 4.6. Sitting in the water ....................................................................................................................... 225 4.7. I'm good at the monkey bars .................................................................................................... 230 4.8. End in sight ..................................................................................................................................... 244    v 4.9. Healing by eagle feathers........................................................................................................... 245 4.10. Healing by tapping our fingers .............................................................................................. 252 4.11. Healing by nature ....................................................................................................................... 259 5.0. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 264 5.1. A place for therapeutic planning ............................................................................................ 266 5.2. The making of a therapeutic planner .................................................................................... 279 5.3. Final thoughts on methodology ............................................................................................... 298 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................ 311      vi List of Illustrations Illustration 1: Location of Tsulquate Reserve .................................................................................... 37 Illustration 2: Beginning Title Page (photo by Jessie Hemphill) ............................................... 46 Illustration 3: A Portrait of Tsulquate ................................................................................................... 57 Illustration 4: Workshop Announcement ............................................................................................ 67 Illustration 5: GN Nations Yo! News (11/09/2010) ....................................................................... 81 Illustration 6: Here Be Giants to Fight .................................................................................................. 97 Illustration 7: It's Okay to Wear a Fish in Your Hair ..................................................................... 129 Illustration 8: Middle Title Page (photo by Jessie Hemphill) .................................................... 130 Illustration 9: Faces of GN Elders .......................................................................................................... 137 Illustration 10: Ravenna as Marilyn ..................................................................................................... 154 Illustration 11: Abrielle as Wounded Deer ....................................................................................... 177 Illustration 12: Abrielle in the Snake?s Grip ..................................................................................... 185 Illustration 13: End Title Page (photo by Jessie Hemphill) ....................................................... 206 Illustration 14: GN Nations Yo! News (10/07/2012) ................................................................... 240 Illustration 15: GN Nations Yo! News (24/07/2012) ................................................................... 242 Illustration 16: Hanane?s Protection .................................................................................................... 251 Illustration 17: Lovers? Trail ................................................................................................................... 263     vii Acknowledgements What you are about to read is an unconventional dissertation in many ways, but in one way it is entirely conventional: my name appears as the sole-author on the cover page. This is altogether an academic delusion, rather laughable considering the number of people who contributed to the next few hundred pages. At a minimum, this document should have been co-authored with Jessie Hemphill, who deserves half of the credit and an honorary degree. Jessie literally made it possible, not only through her invitation to Tsulquate and her ongoing co-design and implementation of the action research, but also through a most genuine and loving personal, intellectual and artistic exchange with me over the past three years. My friendship with you and the experience of a truly generative partnership is by far the most valuable thing I am walking away with.  From here my gratitude extends to the rest of the Hemphill family- uncle Bob, auntie Colleen, Lucy and Ritchie ? who housed me and fed me and entertained me and inspired me in ways that I cannot repay. And to the extraordinary Jamaine Campbell whose large, witty influence seeps through the pages of my story. On a few occasions people in Port Hardy asked me if I was related to you, and I always wanted to lie and say yes. Port Hardy was a gorgeous setting for this research. I?d like to thank the locals, and in particular the members of the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw First Nations whom I got to know and work with. For a long time I had no idea what the title of my dissertation would be, but the subtitle was always clear: ?Learning with the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw First Nations?. I cannot thank you enough for what you shared with me, the ways that you challenged me, the ways you included me and excluded me, and for allowing me to tell your stories.  My luckiest gift in life has been a knack for finding excellent teachers and mentors. Leonie Sandercock, my PhD advisor, definitely falls in this category. She has been an all-around perfect supervisor, not only supporting my research and writing, but also showing me the ropes of academic life and exposing its personal dimensions. It wasn?t at first obvious that my work would be so well-aligned with yours, but I am very happy it ended up this way. I also hit the jackpot with two great PhD committee members, Nora Angeles and Michelle LeBaron. I was touched and influenced by Nora?s feminist community development orientation and Michelle?s perspectives on cross-cultural conflict resolution and the role of the arts. We had the liveliest committee meetings. Thank you for being so adventurous alongside me, for trusting me to go off and do this work, and for all the advice along the way. I had two other ?largely self-appointed? academic advisors in John Friedmann and Bill Torbert, both of whom are supposed to be retired. John challenged me in the early stages of formulating the research and has since given me an unofficial ?stamp of approval? on multiple occasions that has meant a great deal. Bill has been most influential methodologically, creating permission to look inside and in-between as well as outside, and to write something that somebody might actually want to read! Thank you for the guidance over meals and walks and phone calls and emails, and for the richest cross-generational friendships I?ve known.    viii My desire to do this research was born out of an engagement with a global community of Deep Democracy practitioners. Enormous love and appreciation to my closest colleague, peer-coach and friend Sera Thompson, who first introduced me to DD in 2006 and with whom I?ve been co-learning, co-teaching, co-dreaming, co-parenting (sort of!) ever since. Others in the DD community provided useful research advice ? Daniel Suggit, Karen Cieri, Karl Muller, Anna Yeatman, Fred Wittenveen and Georgina Verdhorst? as well as moral support and lively gossip? Yonathan Keren, I am looking at you! My teacher, mentor, coach, therapist and fairy-godmother, Myrna Lewis, is a half-mad genius, and I hope that she comes across that way in the stories that follow. I cannot imagine having done this work without you, always a Skype-call away, often at ridiculous hours across time zones. Thank you for your generosity with your knowledge and your time, for being so hard on me ? and so caring at the same time. Every PhD student should have a Myrna.  Thank you to my community at UBC, particularly those who came up to Tsulquate for their own parallel and intersecting adventures ? Nora Angeles, Penny Gurstein, Margot Young, Johanna Mazur, Manjit Chand ? and to Tony Dorcey who advised on my committee for two years, before his retirement. Thanks to the all-women supporting cast that was my PhD cohort ? Victoria Barr, Dilnoor Panjwani, Sarah Church, Lily Yomagulova? and the over one hundred masters students who took my facilitation courses, especially Krystie Babalos who also helped me make sense of numerous interview transcripts. Special love and gratitude to my sisters in the not-so-secret society we affectionately call ?Circle of Sanity? ? Anna Livia Brand, Arianna Martinez, Carolina Sarmiento, Vera Zambonelli ? who give me hope for the future of planning academia. Thanks also to my personal circle of friends and acquaintances in Vancouver who shared some of the most difficult moments of these stories with me. Those appearing in the dissertation include Andrew Curran, Erica Crawford, Jodie Martinson, Normajean McLaren and Gerry Oleman.  Now I start to cry, as I come to my family. Jeremy Murphy, my partner-in-many-things, probably suffered most from me doing this PhD, especially when it overlapped with me also being pregnant, twice. Thank you for picking up the pieces of our lives when I was falling apart, for being light with me and making me laugh, and for inspiring me with your own work, idealism, ambition and originality. I am lucky to share with you the happiest non-marriage and the world?s most hilarious children. I owe so much to my own birth family. One sister and one brother-in-law ?Taraneh and Adam King? who work in related fields, provided resources and consulting in the course of my research; but I can see the influence of all my siblings in these stories, and in who I have become. My parents ?Pouneh and Hassan Erfan? brought us to Canada, some 16 years ago, so that we could thrive at the expense of their own careers and relationships. If that is not the ultimate act of generosity I don?t know what is. Dad, this PhD is for you, I know you have always wanted it. But I think you will scratch your head when you see the paintings and the poems and all the other unusual elements that are here unapologetically, being themselves, whether others believe they belong or not: the unmistakable influence of my most important teacher, my mom.     ix Dedication For my friend Jane Storey, who shaped this story in more ways than she will know.    1 1.0 Introduction 1.1. How this inquiry came to be A few years ago I went to South Africa to learn about an approach to group facilitation called Deep Democracy. On one of my few days as a tourist, I visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. This is a remarkable modern museum. The exhibits take visitors on a dramatic emotional journey, not only through artifacts but also through architecture, and through a series of subtly interactive exhibition spaces that force us to literally experience something of the history of the rise and fall of apartheid. At the ticket booth, I was classified and directed to [symbolically] enter the museum through the designated ?non-white? door, before finding myself walking into a room full of dangling nooses commemorating 131 political executions, and eventually into a Hall covered wall-to-wall by large photographs of South African crowds waving, laughing and jumping with joy at the sight of Nelson Mandela released from prison after 27 years. The piece of the exhibit that had the most powerful and lasting impact on me was footage of Hendrik Verwoerd, former Minister of Native Affairs and later Prime Minister of South Africa, often referred to as the ?Architect of Apartheid?. In this short, black and white clip, shot sometime in the 1960s, a smiling Verwoerd explains the logic of spatial segregation at the heart of apartheid. He tells us why it is better, for the sake of keeping social harmony, that different people live in different neighbourhoods: ?There is a policy which is called by the Afrikaans word apartheid, and I?m afraid that it has been misunderstood so often. It could just as easily, and perhaps much better, be described as a policy of good-neighbourliness.  Accepting that there are differences between people; but while these differences exist and you have to acknowledge them, at the same time you can live together, aid one another, and that can best be done when you act as good neighbours always do??  Did I hear that right? I rewind and re-watch: ?a policy of good-neighbourliness?, he repeats and my heart sinks in my chest as I recognize the words from my own profession: Apartheid happened at the hands of planners! The policy that forced removal of black South Africans from their homes and into notorious townships, that launched a half-century of racism, disempowerment, arrests, beatings, executions, exiles, and massacres that shocked the world, is rooted in familiar planning ideologies    2 that ?intentionally or not ? continue to promote segregation.1 Whether it goes by terms like single-use zoning, ethnic enclaves, gated communities, restrictive covenants, social housing, or crime prevention through environmental design, a prevailing planning philosophy implies that it is better to spatially separate the rich from the poor, newcomers from old-timers, obnoxious teenagers from peace-seeking seniors, owners from renters, single-family residents from apartment-dwellers? so that each relatively homogenous group can live happily in its quarters, be serviced according to its needs, and not step on others? toes.   What was chilling about Verwoerd?s comments was that they would have seemed reasonable to me, had I come across them at an academic planning conference and not in the middle of an apartheid museum. Perhaps we can say that planners have fundamentally good intentions ?as champions of peaceful, courteous, harmonious social relations ? but that their initiatives sometimes go wrong or have unintended negative consequences. But that may be too naive or too generous of an analysis. More and more often, critical planning scholars are pointing to evidence of self-serving, justice-defying, status-quo-protecting and ultimately malicious intentions on the part of planners and planning institutions, some suggesting that planners are ?facilitators of social exclusion and economic isolation? (Mier, 1994, p.239 cited in Bollens, 2002). This is what Bent Flyvbjerg has famously called the ?dark side of planning?.   Examples of systemic injustice and structural violence at the hands of planners can be found in Davidoff?s (1960s) and Krumholz?s (1990) early accounts of the oppression of impoverished groups, Fainstein?s call for the ?just city? (2010), and the recent literature on the marginalization of racial, ethnic, cultural and religious minority groups  (Qadeer & Chaudhry, 2000; Qadeer, 2004; Sandercock, 2000; Wallace, 2000). A parallel literature is now emerging that examines the role of planners in the processes of colonization of Indigenous populations ?not only in places like South Africa, but                                                         1 Several detailed accounts exist on the role of the city planning profession and ideologies in the making and unmaking of apartheid South Africa. They include Apartheid City in Transition (1991, Swilling, Humphries, and Shubane editors), The Apartheid City and Beyond (1992, Smith editor) and The Spatial Formation of the South African City (1981, Davies).    3 throughout the United States, Australia and Canada (Jackson 1998; Jojola 1998, 2008; Woolford 2005; Porter 2010; Dorries 2012). Central to these processes are not only land-use policies, legal and bureaucratic exercises of power, but also a colonial and racist attitude: that ?we? ?primarily white? planners know better than ?them? ?primarily Indigenous? subjects. Significantly, this literature argues that colonization ?including its prevailing attitude? is an ongoing process: the past is present, and continues to block many attempts at ?moving forward? into a more equitable future.  The dissertation you are about to read is situated against the background of these critiques and recognition of planning profession?s troubling history. There is hardly a need to document any more examples of such injustice. Instead I join a normative voice that calls for the decolonization of planning practices (Hibberd and Lane 2004; Hibberd, Lane and Rasmussen 2008; Cook 2008; Jojola 2008; Porter 2010), and in particular I wonder: what, practically, can we do about the damage that has been done?   This line of inquiry is consistent with a long-standing tradition in planning scholarship that has been called ?pragmatic planning? (see Charles Hoch?s lifetime of work, and Patsy Healey, 2009 for a synopsis). This tradition goes back to the original US pragmatists of the late 19th and early 20th century ?who influenced the management sciences that birthed the planning field? and the neo-pragmatists of the 1970s and 1980s ? who influenced the rise of ?progressive? planning ? and draws ideas from a diverse set of thinkers ranging from Habermas to Foucault. The pragmatic tradition is generally concerned with the questions of ?what works??, ?what makes a difference?? (James, 1920) and ?what should be done??(Flyvbjerg, 2000). Importantly, the pragmatic tradition is a critical and status-quo-challenging tradition, and its emphasis on ?what works? should not be taken as ?a mask for sustaining the conventional, the oppressive, and the narrow-minded? (Healey, 2009).  At the origin of pragmatic thinking is an acknowledgement of the limits of scientific reasoning and the fallibility of logic (Dewey, Pierce, cited in Healey, 2009) in the face of the world?s complexity or ?wickedness? (Rittel and Webber, 1973). Thus, at the core of    4 the pragmatic approach is a quest for practical wisdom, phronesis (Flyvbjerg, 2000 after Aristotle), or practical judgment: a ?holistic? way of knowing that combines scientific, moral and aesthetic understanding (Dewey, James cited in Healey, 2009). One direction in this line of thinking characterizes practical judgment as a ?communal and intersubjective? commodity (Bernstein, 1983), produced through a process of ?social learning? (Friedmann, 1973) where one?s ideas are always tested against and shaped by the ideas of others. This is a departure point for the communicative or collaborative tradition of planning (Fischer and Forester, 1993; Innes, 1995; Healey 1997 etc.) which advocates for communal, public forums where groups of people can search for a kind of practical wisdom by ?making sense together? (Forester, 1993). An extension of communicative planning is therapeutic planning (Sandercock, 2003) which suggests that the collective practice of sense making can help change the quality of strained relationships among people and have a healing impact. As the title of my dissertation suggests, this is the (largely underexplored) territory of planning I am keen to explore.  The Concept of Therapeutic Planning I am using the term ?therapeutic planning? after Leonie Sandercock, having overcome an initial hesitation about this concept in the course of several years of conversation and contemplation-in-practice. My first hesitation was that the term is sometimes associated with Sherry Arnstein?s ladder of citizen participation (1969), where she places ?therapy? in the bottom rung as a form of ?non-participation?. Arnstein here refers to processes whose real objective is not to enable people to influence or enact decisions, but rather to enable power holders to pacify the participants by giving the impression of listening to their concerns.   Acknowledging Arnstein?s work, Sandercock clarifies that she is using the term therapeutic planning in a whole other way, to signify ?an essential quality of community organizing and planning?. Therapeutic planning for her is ?the process of bringing people together not only to share their experiences and work in solidarity, but also to work through their differences ? in transformative ways?. She sees a central role for    5 relationships and emotions in these processes, where participants can ?talk of fear and loathing as well as of hope and transformation? (2003, p. 159?166).    Similarly, I see therapeutic planning as a way of working through interpersonal and intergroup differences (i.e. conflict) and I also see it as working through internal differences and personal dilemmas (i.e. trauma). In common vernacular, we refer to conflict as a struggle that exists between people and trauma as a struggle that lives within a person. But these categories are imprecise and interdependent (Marris, 1974, p.98 and p.155). I see conflict and trauma as having a similar texture. They are both characterized by an emotional reaction to differences that cannot readily be reconciled. The therapeutic planning I have in mind has the potential to work with both.   I am attracted to the possibilities that the notion of therapeutic planning offers, but I had a second hesitation in using the term: ?therapy? is strongly claimed ?and we might say owned? by the professional domain of psychology. Professionals go through years of psychological training, are exposed to different theories and methodological approaches, practice for hours on clients under supervision, and go through intensive therapy for themselves, before they become eligible to do therapy with others. What would it mean for us planners, who have not had that kind of rigorous psychological training, to claim that word for ourselves? Would we be overstepping our professional boundaries if we spoke of therapeutic planning? Would we be making too serious, too ambitious of a claim? Would we be promising something that is outside of our professional jurisdiction, outside of our powers to deliver?  To answer these questions we need a better understanding of what is meant by therapeutic planning. In the original mention of the term, Sandercock (2003) says that she uses therapy ?in its psychological sense?. The trouble is that within the field of psychology there is no singular ?sense? of what is meant by therapy, who can be called a therapist, and what can be called therapeutic (Nicki Kahnamoui, Executive Director, Art Health Network Canada, pers. comm). These are contested terms with ?bleeding? boundaries (Wadeson, 1996, Esterlla, 2011). One widespread (but by no means    6 conclusive) view seems to frame therapy as a formal process which implies professional work done by a trained (ideally, certified) individual who draws (ideally, explicitly) on certain psychological frameworks and orientations (Psychoanalytic, Analytic, Humanistic, Cognitive-behavioural, and Developmental etc.), to remedy a specific (ideally, diagnosed) psychological problem. But in other views the term therapy, and particularly the adjective therapeutic, seems to be used more casually to refer to a quality of interaction (not necessarily between a therapist and a client) or experience that has a cathartic impact, or a liberating effect, or a harmonizing result on a person or people2. A therapeutic experience, in this sense, does not necessarily involve a clinical intervention.   When we use the word therapeutic in common vernacular and in colloquial speech (not in a specific ?psychosocial sense?) we have something much closer to the second view in mind. I think that this is also what Sandercock is referring to when she uses the term therapeutic planning, judging from her very first example of a therapeutic planning process (of Wendy Sarkissian?s work in South Sydney, 2003) as well as her later writing (about her own work, Sandercock and Attili, 2012, 2013) and my conversations with her. Her definition of therapeutic planning ?and mine? does not require identifying with a specific psychological orientation, nor does it imply a role for a psychologically trained therapist or a psychological diagnosis of a problem3. She is ?as I am? using the term in its common sense, to underscore a role for talking about emotions in planning debates with a hope for tapping into its healing potential.                                                          2 The most thoughtful and interesting discussion I have seen on these distinctions is within the expressive arts field on the distinctions make between the terms ?PhotoTherapy? and ?Therapeutic Photography? (see for example, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling?s Special Issue on Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2009). While the debate continues, phototherapy is now typically defined as the use of photography within a specific framework of formal therapy and used within a therapy session; whereas therapeutic photography is defined as a more informal process, possibly self-initiative and unassisted by a trained therapist, using photo-based activities that may nonetheless have a therapeutic impact. A parallel heated debate exists about the boundaries between music therapy and community based music (Ansdell, 2002). 3 To draw a parallel with the previous footnote, what we are talking about is ?Therapeutic Planning?, not ?PlanTherapy?.    7 In the course of my research, and in the context of my work with the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw First Nations, I came to a cautious but well-grounded conclusion that it is appropriate to speak of a therapeutic role for planning. I was somewhat ?pleasantly? surprised at the therapeutic impact I was able to generate while working within a planning framework (see sections 3.6, 3.12 and 5.1 for evidence). I am cautious about overstating this impact. I would certainly not claim that people I worked with were healed once and for all, and I cannot even demonstrate long-lasting positive impacts of my project given its relatively short timeframe. My work will certainly not qualify as therapy ?in its psychological sense? as understood by some. But I am convinced that the kind of planning engagements I made possible, and what transpired as a result, was a step towards something that had something to do with healing. I offer this dissertation as an exploration of this healing impact.  Research questions and implications Following from the above, there are two key questions at the heart of this exploration:  1. [How] can planning play a therapeutic role in communities marked by trauma, without reproducing the patterns of colonization? 2.  What do planners need to learn, and who do they have to become, in order to play this role effectively?    In considering these questions, my research has implications for planning theory in that it elaborates on a role for therapeutic planning ?expanding on Sandercock?s articulation and on an ongoing discussion on communicative/collaborative planning, and the pragmatic planning tradition more widely. It builds on the work of a small handful of scholars who have explicitly engaged with question of psychological aspects of planning practice, most importantly (1) the writing of Peter Marris (1974 in particular) which examines the processes of grieving at both individual and collective levels, with insights for how planners can support social change with sensitivity to the traumas that it inevitably causes and the healing that it requires; and (2) the work of Scott Bollens    8 (2002, 2006) on deep rooted conflicts4, the potential of the city as a setting for peace-building, and the role of planners in healing that is rooted in social learning.  My research also has implications for planning practice in that it offers practical insights about approaches to intervention that might serve a therapeutic purpose. Finally, it also has implications for planning education in that it illuminates the nature of a ?largely emotional and experiential? learning path of planners wanting to play a therapeutic role, and the kinds of support needed to develop relevant competencies.   As suggested by the title of this dissertation and indicated in the Preface, this research is an experiment. I use the work ?experiment?, not in the scientific sense (an orderly and reproducible procedure aimed at verifying or refuting a well defined hypothesis) but in the artistic sense, where an experimental approach may involved a radically new or innovative style or engagement with ideas that are untested, not yet established or finalized. Put another way, this is an exploration into the emerging area of therapeutic planning. It is not intended as a manual for how to do therapeutic planning, or how to teach it to aspiring therapeutic planners. Instead, its purpose is to further open a space within planning theory to talk about the potential for a therapeutic planning role and its associated methods and competencies, and to share some of what I learned in my own attempt to learn to play this role. In this experiment, I relied primarily on a process methodology that I was competent in (Deep Democracy, introduced below in section 1.3) ? but I do not by any means suggest that this way is the way to do therapeutic planning (though it may be one way). A decade from now, I hope that we can name many different approaches to therapeutic planning. In writing this dissertation I hope to raise to our consciousness some of the qualities that such approaches may require, so that we can recognize one when we see one, or create one as the case may be.                                                          4 I understand trauma, particularly collective trauma, as a special case of deep-rooted social conflicts which are by definition: (a) connected to our identities, our ways of making meaning in the world and our understanding of ourselves (Redekop, 2002, p.14), (b) associated with histories of systemic injustice, marginalization or structural violence (Ogley, 1991, p.xvii), and (c) manifested in feelings of disempowerment and paralysis which can none-the-less erupt into violence and abuse (Redekop, 2002, p.25).    9 The case study In 2008, while I was in the first stages of my doctoral program, the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), where I was enrolled, was invited into a partnership with the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw (GN) First Nations. The partnership supported several graduate students doing research in support of the creation of a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP) for the village of Tsulquate ? a small GN reserve on the edge of the Town of Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island.   A theme that emerged in the creation of the CCP was recognition of the collective trauma that plagued the community of approximately 800 people, and the need and desire for healing processes. This gave me an opening to engage with the band around the questions that most interested me. The young Indigenous planner in charge of the CCP, Jessie Hemphill, took a facilitation class with me in Vancouver and subsequently invited me to bring Deep Democracy, specifically, into her community. Between 2009 and 2012 I engaged in an action research project with the GN, in implementing some of the action items of the CCP with an eye to bringing about a healing or therapeutic impact. I ended up facilitating about a dozen group sessions, among other things. The body of this dissertation is the story of that engagement.   Engagement with literature This dissertation draws on and speaks to a number of different bodies of literature. Instead of reviewing these literatures upfront, I have integrated the relevant material into the stories told in the body of the dissertation, highlighting various debates and points of view to inform and understand my own work. The following is a brief summary of these literatures and their placement within the dissertation:  - Planning theory literature, focusing on the critique of planners/planning institutions? hand in colonization and an aspiration for a decolonizing role: sections 1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 5.1    10 - History of First Nations in Canada and at the site of my research specifically, key trends and pressing issues among Canada?s Aboriginal populations: sections 1.1, 2.3, 3.1, 3.7 - Indigenous studies literature, including discussion on certain aspects of Indigenous worldviews and ethics, perspectives on trauma and healing, role of Indigenous myth and ceremony: sections 2.5, 2.10, 3.3, 3.12, 4.10 - Facilitation and conflict resolution literature, including various philosophies and views on the role of facilitators and their necessary skills and metaskills: sections 1.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.6, 5.2 - Evaluation literature, in particular concerning assessment of innovations and attempts at social transformation in a complex system: sections 3.1, 3.6, 3.12 - Literature on the nature of trauma, mental illness, and healing from psychological, anthropological, sociological and linguistic perspectives: sections 3.1, 3.6, 4.2, 5.1 - Developmental learning literature, with focus on reflective practice: section 5.2 - Literature around the social transformation potential of the arts, including expressive art therapy, art evaluation, power of fiction, power of visuals (including metaphors): sections 1.4, 1.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.6, 3.12, 4.10, 5.2, 5.3 - Research methodology literature, particularly on action research/action inquiry, including debates on research ethics, Indigenous research methodologies, difficulties in community-based action research, and the writing process: sections 1.2, 1.4, 2.7, 3.5, 5.3 1.2. Research and data gathering methods Epistemology and the approach to research What I love most about planning is that, unlike many other fields within the social sciences, it has a practical ? or action-oriented ? focus. As I mentioned, I see the research presented in this dissertation as belonging in the tradition of ?pragmatic planning? (Healey, 2009) and ?phronetic social science? (Flyvbjerg, 2001). One of the most important aspects of this kind of research, best exemplified by Bent Flyvbjerg in    11 his doctoral dissertation, is recognizing that the researcher does not need to be an objective outsider who looks upon an issue for the purposes of the study, but rather that the researcher can be quite centrally involved in ? and influencing ? the process that he or she is studying. Flyvbjerg has argued that this kind of ?closeness? to the subject is not only okay but can be quite informative in the research process, leading to new insights and information otherwise inaccessible.   As I mentioned, there are very few planning scholars who have written on the topic of therapeutic planning or more broadly on approaches to deep rooted conflicts. Even fewer have done so by getting ?close? to the subject. The best-known examples of planners working with trauma or deep conflict are found in John Forester?s work (particularly in Dealing with Differences, 2009), which is based primarily on practitioner interviews, which I consider an ?arms-length? exploration. As such, the methodological approach of my research is unique and promises to contribute new kinds of insights to the field.   My approach can be classified as a ?case study? in that it follows many of Flyvbjerg?s recommendations for how to conduct such a thing: getting close to reality, emphasizing little things, looking at practice before discourse, studying cases and contexts, asking "How", doing narrative, joining agency and structure, and dialoguing with a polyphony of voices (Flyvbjerg, 2001). Among classic types of case studies (J?rvinen, 2000), my work is best classified as Experimental Action Research, which has a more practical orientation and more flexible scope than any other type. In fact, action research is a broad category that draws freely on more traditional forms of qualitative inquiry (Creswell, 2007) and makes possible the integration of many different data sources.   There are many different articulations for the concept of action research, including Kurt Lewin?s original formulation: action research as ?a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action? (1946). The Sage Handbook of Action Research identifies it as a "family of practices of living inquiry that aims, in a great variety of ways, to link practice and ideas in the    12 service of human flourishing" (Reason and Bradbury, 2001). Simply put, the most central identifying factor appears to be the dual role of researcher-actor, and an attention to the interplay of what he or she does and what he or she learns, with a commitment to continuously adjusting one based on the other.  In the case of my action research I acted in various capacities within my host community (as organizer, facilitator, teacher, artist, leader etc) with an eye to exploring the questions around therapeutic planning cited in the last section. In turn, partial findings about the research questions influenced the direction of the action at every step of the way. More than anything, the body of my dissertation is an explicit illustration of the co-evolution of my actions, my learning and my evolving questions.   One approach in the ?family? of action research approaches that is of particular interest and relevance to my project is Torbert?s concept of Action Inquiry as ?a social science?which is conducted simultaneously on oneself, the first person action inquirer, on the second-person relationships in which one engages, and on the third-person institutions of which one is an observant participant? (Torbert and Associates, 2004). First person inquiry is introspective, personal and revealing, concentrating on what I, the action-inquirer/research subject experience ?think, feel, sense, intuit etc.? and what information that experience provides about the phenomenon under study. Methodological approaches such as biography and auto-ethnography are centered in the first person mode. Second person inquiry is defined by ?the intent of people in relationship to inquire into their actions and into what is between them? (Sherman and Torbert, 2000). The research subject is the I-Thou relationship, and an influx of emerging methodologies ?including dialogical formulations, participatory performance, multi-voiced methods, and some forms of participatory action research? are centered in this mode (Gergen and Gergen in Denzin and Lincoln, 2000).  Finally, the third person inquiry is the most familiar form of qualitative inquiry, defined by an I-It relation between the researcher and research subjects who are viewed as knowledgeable informers about the phenomenon under study, collectively enabling the researcher to draw out patterns and conclusions. Most instances of ethnography, phenomenology and grounded theory, for example, are centered in the third-person mode. All three of these    13 qualities of attention ?on the self, relationship and institution? provided the guideposts for this action research and were the basis for data collection as I describe below.  Data sources and collection methods The material that appears in this dissertation is based primarily on my action research engagement on Tsulquate reservation between May 2009 and July 2012, and particularly during two intensive periods of fieldwork (the fall of 2010 and the fall/winter/spring of 2011/2012). During these periods, I spent a lot of time in the community. My primary task evolved to be the organization and facilitation of a series of about a dozen workshops on the topic of parenting ? which was an opening for inviting people to talk about trauma and work towards healing. As such, these workshops were ?experiments in therapeutic planning?. Beside these sessions and the formal interviews that followed them, I had numerous meetings with various community members ? Elders, staff, chief and council included? and many more dinner conversations, particularly with the members of the Hemphill family, who hosted me for periods of time on Tsulquate. I also had countless experiences of ?being? in community as a participating observer: walking around the reserve, visiting the forest or the ocean, dropping in on friends, and attending many community functions: birthdays, funerals, all-band meetings, council meetings, community planning conversations, a healing feast, a graduation ceremony, and two play potlatches at the local school. In the course of this engagement I collected the following data:  First person:  ? I kept a journal and I wrote in it every night I was in the field, and many nights when I was not in the field. Between 2009 and 2012 my journaling amounted to 288 single-spaced pages of writing. In the journal I recorded the following information: description of events of importance (either to me personally or to my project); my own reactions, thoughts and feelings about events; sensations and emotional responses to settings, people or events; awarenesses, insights and learnings as they related to the project or to my facilitation practice more broadly; my dreams, day-dreams and visions; my assessment of my own psychological state.    14 ? Immediately before and immediately after each session that I facilitated I voice-recorded my own reflections, feelings and thoughts. ? I had regular ?and ad-hoc? coaching and supervision sessions with my Deep Democracy teacher and mentor, Myrna Lewis, which usually focused on assisting me in deepening my practices, helping me with decision-making, and working with some of my reoccurring anxieties and psychological patterns. Occasionally, I also had peer-coaching sessions  ?particularly with my colleague Sera Thompson? on the same topics. I recorded and transcribed eight such sessions. ? I kept a visual journal where I regularly sketched what I was seeing and experiencing. I also created a number of aesthetic responses (Knill, 2005) to what was happening and what I was becoming aware of, most often in watercolor, most often depicting metaphors or other images relating to my own internal state.  Second person: ? Within my journal, I kept track of observations about the people I was meeting in the course of the fieldwork. I recorded many details of what they did, what they said, how they appeared, and the impressions they made on me. ? I recorded ? sometimes through a voice-recorder, often in my journal ? segments of conversations that I had with people, particularly as they related to the themes of this dissertation. In particular, I recorded several conversations between Jessie and I. ? I recorded debriefings or side-conversations about the sessions I was facilitating, with co-facilitators, colleagues, or participants who often remained behind to chat.  ? I conducted eleven interviews with workshop participants in the month following the sessions, which I voice-recorded when permission was given. I identify these interviews as a form of second person inquiry since they often felt more like a two-way conversation than a traditional academic interview where the researcher asks questions of informants. Rather, these were co-evolving, mutual inquiries into what had taken place between us and in the sessions we had been part of. ? Over time, I became involved in a series of exchanges (both ?private? and ?public?) with Tsulquate community members on FaceBook. These exchanges ?along with text-messaging ? became a regular and highly significant way for sustaining and    15 strengthening relationship with community members that I was getting to know. I kept track of these exchanges as they related to the project.  Third person: ? I voice-recorded the majority of the sessions I facilitated. I later listened to the recordings for emergent patterns, themes, metaphors etc. ? I conducted a simple survey about needs, desires, and expectations for the parenting workshops at the very beginning of the first session, and a second simple survey about the outcomes and achievements at the end of the last session. The participants present at each of these two sessions took part in the surveys. I also attempted to engage workshop participants in simple artistic processes meant to generate information.5  ? In 2011 I was invited to join two FaceBook groups (first, the official GN Facebook page, second a kind of ?dissent corner? page set up by a GN community member) which I came to understand as a form of replacement for the very significant spaces of gathering that members of this community used to have and continue to seek (Jessie Hemphill, pers.comm.) I was witness to, and occasionally participated in many friendly and many controversial exchanges in these online spaces. There are ethical complications around using the material from these exchanges in a dissertation (since the space was not understood to be a research space, and I was only invited in as a trusted friend of the community) ? but what I read has influenced my thinking and my understanding of the community. I have related a few pieces of information from these exchanges within the dissertation, taking care to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, and honour the trust with which I was allowed to participate in these forums. ? I also had access to two other primary data sets that were peripheral but complementary to the research in this dissertation. One was a set of 14 interviews conducted by two UBC professors (Penny Gurstein and Margot Young) in June 2011 as part of an informal evaluation of the university?s partnership with the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw band, and as part of an ongoing research project on the challenges and                                                         5 In my assessment, the surveys and the artistic exercises did not provide a rich information set, for reasons that I discuss in sections 3.5 and 3.6.    16 successes of community-based research. The second consisted of 23 interviews conducted by SCARP masters students in a class I taught, each of whom interviewed an experienced facilitator from the Deep Democracy community, asking about the facilitator?s use of the methodology and his or her learning path6.   By the end of the action research engagement I had far more ?data? than I knew what to do with. To make sense of what I had done, observed and experienced, I used narrative analysis, and particularly the act of writing itself, as a method of analysis, as I will describe in Section 1.4. In classic methodological terms, my analytical approach is best classified as direct interpretation (Creswell, 2007), which is a way of drawing meaning from single instances of events. To a lesser degree I have also done categorical aggregation of the information, which refers to the compilation of multiple instances in the data ?until something can be said of them as a class? (Stake, 1995, p.74).  1.3. Process facilitation methods Another type of method, relevant to the work presented here, is the process design and facilitation approach I relied on when I ran meetings in the community. I use the term ?method? somewhat loosely here, understood not as a firm theory or rigid set of ideas about what to do, but more as the kind of ?scaffolding? that Kolb and associates talk about (1994) in the conclusion to their important book about the landscape of the facilitation/mediation/conflict resolution field7: "Compared with other forms of intervention and social change, mediation is noteworthy for its almost complete absence of theory about social conflict and intervention. Nothing akin to the situation prevails in psychology or organizational intervention, in which powerful and influential models ? such as psychoanalytic, behavioural, and systems                                                         6 Even though I wasn?t the interviewer (for both strategic and practical reasons) I was centrally involved in the development of the questionnaire and interview approach for both studies. My access to these data sets was approved by relevant Ethical Review Board processes, and the interviewees in each case were explicitly informed that I would be listening to the audio-files and/or reading the transcripts. Each interviewee gave his or her consent for my access to this information. In both cases, I also was the person who reported back the findings to each set of interviewees. For these reasons I feel comfortably justified in bringing information from these interviews into this dissertation where relevant. 7 I feel that Kolb and associates? conclusions are only slightly outdated. My impression is that in the years since this writing the field of conflict resolution has adopted more frameworks from its neighbouring disciplines, but that on the whole the ?scaffolding? remains thin.      17 theories, among others ? actively compete and provide at least a viable intellectual and emotional scaffolding for the otherwise beleaguered interveners." (Kolb & associates, 1994, p.489)   The scaffoldings I was relying on, in fact came from the field of psychology at its intersection with organizational and community development. In particular, I was relying on (a) Deep Democracy, and (b) the expressive arts field, both introduced below. Like most other practitioners I know, I chose my methods partly based on what the situation seemed to call for (from an initial scan, but also on a day-by-day basis, see the start of Section 5 for a discussion on this) and partly based on what methods I was reasonably confident with already (what I had spent years learning about or at least being exposed to) as I walked into the field. Through the study of the literature I was aware of a much wider pallet of facilitation methods I theoretically could have used (including close cousins to both Deep Democracy and the expressive arts), but in actual fact could not have used because I did not have the training or the access to mentors I would have required to become confident in them in the timeframe of this project8. So in many ways, I chose the methods that were available to me, for the important reason that they were available to me. This dissertation does not argue for the relative worth of these methods over others, nor does it propose these as the methods best suited for doing therapeutic planning. It was simply not designed to make those kinds of claims.   Deep Democracy Between 2006 and 2010, I trained extensively in Deep Democracy, a facilitation approach that evolved in post-apartheid South Africa at the hands of Myrna Lewis (my teacher) and her late husband Greg.   Myrna and Greg were both students of American psychologist Arnold Mindell, to whom Deep Democracy owes its foundations. Mindell is a physicist and trained Jungian                                                         8 There is a difference between a scholar choosing a research method, and a practitioner choosing a facilitation method. We often expect scholars to be able to justify their choice of method entirely based on the research questions and circumstances at hand. This makes sense because learning a research method, once you have decided it is the one you want, is relatively quick and straightforward. We cannot have the same expectation of practitioners because learning a facilitation method (particularly one that is a match for a situation fraught with conflict and trauma) is far more time-consuming, expensive and difficult.     18 analyst who took his inspiration from quantum physics, Taoism, and Jungian psychology. The focus of Jungian therapy has been on dreams and the active imagination, using auditory and visual techniques as methods of analysis and inquiry. In his clinical practice, Mindell expanded this focus to include the body, its sensations, symptoms and illness as a dreaming process. He further differentiated his work from Jungian therapy by expanding its focus into social and world issues as a means for individual and collective change. Jung was cautious of groups, and felt that the route to world change was based on individual self-reflection and the return of the individual to their own deepest being. Mindell (1995a) on the other hand became interested in the study of conflict and trauma in large group settings. He said he found that group processes were sometimes more effective than individual therapy: patients who were stuck around certain issues could much more easily find release and imagine a way forward when the issues were processed in a group setting rather than a private therapy session. He also saw the work of personal healing and collective healing as being tightly linked.   Based on these convictions Mindell founded process-oriented psychology (also known as Process Work) and proposed a way of working with the group?s unconscious and ultimately the collective unconscious. Process Work is distinct from most forms of psychology for its fluid format, emphasizing awareness and following the unfolding of the individuals? process in therapy rather than trying to achieve a specific state or behavior. As a result, it can appear to change form, resembling various known therapeutic forms at different moments within a session (Mindell, 1995b, p.59). Since the 1980s, Mindell, his wife Amy and colleagues have been part of a research society for Process Work, which ?studies the dreaming process as it appears through body experiences, movement, personal challenges, relationship troubles and world conflict situations? (Schuitevoerder, 2000).  Meanwhile, some of Mindell?s students have taken his work in different directions, one of which is the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy, an adaptation of Mindell?s approach,    19 customized to meet organizational development need. The term ?deep democracy? first appeared in Mindell?s writing (1995a) when he made the case that a lot is missed when our meetings and interpersonal interactions are dominated by verbal exchange of opinions, ideas and other mental constructs only. He called for paying attention to and welcoming the expressions of emotional and symbolic dynamics, feelings and body symptoms, subtle movements and dreams of everyone concerned. He said that this approach to working with groups was ?deeply democratic? in that it attempted to give voice and standing to these commonly ignored or under-appreciated elements of human experience.   While consulting to large public agencies in post-apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Myrna and Greg Lewis tuned into the ignored and under-appreciated elements. They noticed that their clients were struggling to ?flatten? their structures as they were now officially mandated to do, bringing together historically divided sections of society under the new Rainbow Nation umbrella.  But the unspoken emotional and symbolic baggage that individuals were bringing into their work places, and the deeply embedded patterns of racism, made it virtually impossible for them to work well together. The couple used a derivative of Process Work to help resolve some of the tensions within organizations (not to do personal therapy with employees, but to attend to the interpersonal and collective issues). More importantly, they articulated a simplified facilitation approach based on Mindell?s work, that they could relatively quickly teach to people who could use it on their own when the consultants walked away. This became the first iteration of The Lewis Method of Deep Democracy (DD), putting the tools within the reach of people without a clinical psychology background and extensive training. The DD approach has now spread to over 20 countries and is used in businesses, governments, schools, hospitals, social movements, political parties, and increasingly also in community work.   Having not only read about but also experienced both Mindells? and Lewis? work, I might characterize DD as a more ?down to earth? version of process work. DD is less geared towards resolving individuals? deepest psychological issues and typically less    20 ambitious in terms of a world-changing agenda; but it is instead practical, focused on processing traumas or conflicts enough that they stop blocking the functioning of individuals and groups so that material issues can be addressed. A DD process also seems less intimidating to be a part of and to learn to practice because it has fewer mysteries and complexities9 and its facilitation techniques have been broken down into ?steps?10. For these reasons, DD is a more practical toolkit for professionals such as planners who may want to ?borrow? some facilitation techniques for working with difficult community dynamics, but do not want to invest the time or energy to become professional therapists.  Distinctive Aspects One of my aims within this dissertation has been to demonstrate the DD facilitation approach, by way of stories and examples, instead of describing its theory and practices in detail11.  But in order to provide an introduction, I here highlight some of DD?s distinctive aspects, putting it in the context of other facilitation approaches in use. - The starting point for a DD facilitator is a belief that a group has, within itself, the resources ?knowledge, creativity, sensitivity, care, power? it needs to work out its own problems12. This inherent resource is talked about as the ?wisdom of the group?. Often relevant pieces of wisdom are buried in the group?s unconscious (i.e. not openly expressed, or not adequately heard) and good facilitation helps bring them to the surface so that they can be integrated with the conscious material (a concept central to the analytical school of psychology that is the                                                         9 For example, in DD the facilitator?s role is usually clearly articulated and constant, whereas in process work the facilitator?s role can change continuously, making it somewhat challenging to follow what is happening. 10 I think that well-defined, numbered ?steps? in a group process are a myth. They are an over-simplification. But they give practitioners ?particularly novice practitioners? something to hold onto, something simple that they can remember in the heat of the moment. In that sense they are very useful.  11 An attempt at creating a practice manual has been made by Myrna Lewis in her book ?Inside the No? (Lewis, 2008) 12 Or: the group has the resourcefulness to be able to get those resources. Clearly a group may feel it needs to bring in resources ? expertise, funding etc- for a certain task or project. The view here is to look for these resources within the group and its immediate community first, in response to the observation that far too often dependence on external resources is unsustainable, and may create additional problems (e.g. imposing culturally irrelevant solutions) instead.    21 inspiration for DD). Much of the DD facilitator?s work, then, is to ?conscientize? the group to its own wisdom. The view of groups as inherently wise is also shared by those who work in an appreciative inquiry or asset-based development model (Block, 2009; Kretzmann and Mcknight, 1993).   - Given that the group ?not the facilitator? is the wisdom-holder, the task of a DD facilitator is enabling and allowing the natural underlying pattern of a process to unfold. A DD facilitator takes on an attitude of neutrality when working with groups (please see the end of this section for a full discussion on neutrality). That is to say that it is not the job of the facilitator to set up or follow a definite meeting agenda, or decide what should be talked about and what should be left alone, or even dictate what format (verbal, visual, visceral, silent) the exchanges should take13. His or her job is to carefully follow what is ?alive? and support conscious decision-making about directions that the meeting participants collectively seem to seek. This is a fairly uncommon philosophy amidst the gamut of facilitation approaches in common use ? most of which prefer some form of structured, organized approach (e.g. Fisher, Patton and Ury, 1992; Stone, Patton and Heen, 1999 etc). DD?s closest relative in this regard may be the Quaker model of facilitation (Elder cited in Kolb and Associates, 1997), which has a focus on helping a process unfold instead of determining its direction.    - The DD facilitator often ?follows the heat of a process? into emotional spaces, where participants may directly speak about charged conflicts and heavy                                                         13 In my own practice, I have found that this view of facilitation offers flexibility and manifestation of different forms. For example, when I was working in Beirut I had a group of individuals that did not want to discuss feelings but said they wanted to express their ideas through drawings; so we got some paper and markers and everyone drew and told stories. There was a need for creativity and playfulness that was very alive in the room and it determined the form of the interactions. Similarly, when colleagues were working with the Bear River First Nation in Nova Scotia, the community members did not want to walk around as the facilitator had suggested; so they stood in a circle and had an argument (speaking one at a time!) while the chief ceremoniously added wood to the fire in the centre. There was a need for going back to the Nation?s traditional ways of doing things that was very alive in the group, and it dictated the physical form of the process that unfolded.    22 traumas. This is to be done with care, with respect for ?edge behaviour?14, and only after explicitly getting permission from the group to open a more emotional space (Lewis, 2008). The DD facilitator has a number of supportive tools to use within this space, most significantly ?amplification? ? a paraphrasing technique that strengthens the emotional language and intensifies the process. The approach of directly engaging emotional issues and cutting into the depth of conflict and trauma is somewhat uncommon, though by no means exclusive to DD15. Instead, many facilitators see emotions as ?clouding the real issue? (Atkinson cited in Kolb and associates, 1994). They tend to acknowledge deeper issues and circumvent them (Burgess cited in Forester, 2009), or intervene with humour in order to lessen the emotional intensity of the process (Susskind cited in Kolb and associates, 1994). From their point of view, engaging with conflict and trauma directly is risky. The DD facilitator takes on that risk.  - The DD facilitator ?reads? a group situation not in terms of the individual?s experiences, but primarily in terms of the patterns that emerge within the field of energy that a group consists of. These patterns ?called fractal patterns? become apparent at various scales. For example, as a group of people speak about the pattern of domination/marginalization that has characterized their history (societal scale), feelings of being marginalized or tendencies to dominate may begin to emerge among group participants (e.g. some people may feel voiceless while others talk excessively) (group scale), and at the same time the facilitator may notice that her sensitivity is getting pushed away by her sudden need to control the group (individual scale). Fractal patterns are often archetypal (universally recognizable) and can appear in polarities as contrasting energies (e.g. domination/marginalization, idealist/pragmatist, feminine/masculine etc). The DD facilitator attempts to notice fractal patterns at different scales (as a way of figuring out what really is going on in a group),                                                         14Edge behaviour is a physiological mechanism (often an uneasiness in the body) that attempts to stop people from revealing too much of themselves when or where it is unsafe to do so. 15 Several prominent German conflict resolution approaches, for example, are equally big on directness in engaging with conflict (Thomas Jordan, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, pers. comm.).    23 make the group aware of them when appropriate, and work to integrate them through the group process.  Critique and limitations Deep Democracy proposes a way of working with groups based on a certain way of understanding the world. Whether this way of working with groups or its underlying worldviews are inherently effective is difficult to establish. We can certainly engage in an intellectual conversation about their relative merits and we can most certainly critique them16. This is not the objective of this dissertation, nor is it the purpose of the dissertation to defend Deep Democracy or even to test it. But since this is primarily the facilitation approach used in the research it was important to think through and remain alert to its potential limitations and pitfalls so as to be able to use it in a responsible way, and supplement or even discard it if or when it no longer served. Here is some of the critique I thought about:  - In so far as DD is based on Jung?s view of the world ?specifically, the existence of a collective unconscious and of archetypal patterns? it can also be subject to the critique of that view (see for example, Goldenberg, 1976; McGowen, 1994; Noll, 1994). For the most part, critics have dismissed this portion of Jung?s work as ?sheer mysticism?, lacking scientific foundation and existing only in the realm of metaphors that are stretched to fabricate reality. Critics have also accused these concepts of ignoring important gender and cultural distinctions (i.e. ?Is the collective unconscious really the white, Indo-European, male unconscious disguised as universal??) and performing a normalizing, hegemonizing function. Despite these important issues, Jung?s metaphysical ideas have remained popular and continue to shape an understanding of the world. As a DD practitioner, I recognized that I was making a ?leap of faith? into these ways of seeing. I could not prove or disprove these metaphysical speculations. But as I used this lens, I had to watch for its potential to be irrelevant in the culture I was                                                         16 There is not a formal critique of either Lewis? Method of Deep Democray or Mindell?s Process Work within the literature, though Jung?s work, which is the basis for both, has of course been widely criticized.     24 working with. I only proceeded to continue to use this lens because it actually resonated so strongly at my research site (see Section 2.5).   - In so far as DD is enthusiastic about ?following the heat? of the conflict and going right into the centre of conflict, it is subject to the critique that a direct way of engaging with conflict may not be responsible or productive, given certain cultural contexts (as for example, is implicit in the expressive arts field). Sometimes talking about conflict directly can make it worse. This presents a risk, particularly in small communities where harmony is highly valued for its role in supporting peaceful coexistence. In such communities the norms of communication may have evolved to avoid precisely this ?heat?. I had to assess the degree to which the community members I was working with were inclined or reluctant to really explore their conflicts and traumas. Conscious of DD?s own inclinations towards embracing conflict, I had to carefully assess my actions, and back off from driving people into conversations they did not want to have.  - The conflict resolution technique in DD begins by asking for an explicit agreement on the part of the participant to three fundamental principles: (a) that the conflict take place between sides and not between people, (b) that the purpose of going into conflict is to stay in relationship, and (c) that as a result of engaging with the conflict some personal growth in awareness will take place. It is quite likely that participants may not be agreeable to one or the other of these principles because (a) the suggestion to distinguish between sides and people may not always make sense17 especially in ?interpersonal conflicts?, (b) parties to conflict may not be in a relationship already and may not want to stay in a relationships, and (c) there may be no interest in or capacity for personal                                                         17 In some cultures, the distinction between a person?s self and his or her actions is not part of the cultural lexicon. Furthermore, developmental psychologists might say that making such a distinction requires a certain level of mental development that most people may not reach within their lifetime (see for example, Kegan, 1994), so this facilitation method may be asking something of us that we are by large not capable of. I don?t necessarily agree with this based on my observation of many young (and presumably psychologically undersdeveloped) people ?across several different cultures- seemingly making the distinctions quite readily, but I can?t refute the possibility that this would be a limitation.     25 growth. The conflict resolution possibilities of DD are importantly limited by these principles. If group participants are not willing to engage in this way other conflict resolution approaches are required.   - DD depends almost exclusively on verbal exchanges. Some movement is built into the DD tools (e.g. the Soft Shoe Suffle, see Section 2.4), and metaphors occasionally make their way in (e.g. in Amplification, see Section 3.11)? but there is no explicit way for facilitators to ensure that non-verbal modalities enter the group process in a creative way. Thus, the capabilities of DD are limited by the limitations in verbal communication, and by the willingness or ability of people to understand each other through that channel. This may be further problematic in a community where people are not particularly verbal. As a DD facilitator, I find myself often having to decide when to abandon the DD tools in favour of other modalities that might make progress more expedient.  The expressive arts field A secondary approach to facilitation that influences my work is based in the arts. I have more or less always had an art practice of my own (primarily visual) since my school days and in 2008 I trained in and began to practice as a graphic facilitator. The gift of graphic facilitation is to bring visual elements into a meeting room in various forms, to assist with the understanding of what is going on ?especially for the large portion of the population who are primarily visual thinkers? and to shape new possibilities through visual mediums. While there is not an academic discourse associated with graphic facilitation yet, we might place this approach within the broader field of the expressive arts (Winkel and Junge, 2012). I have been introduced to this field primarily through my family members: both my mother and my sister are counselors that use the arts in their practice. My sister in particular was studying to become an expressive art therapist as I began to work on my PhD, and I ended up reading a lot of what she was reading and talking to her about it.   To be clear, I do not see my work as expressive art ?therapy? and do not associate this    26 dissertation with that school. Rather I locate myself within the expressive arts field more generally, recalling once again the issues with the terms ?therapy? and ?therapeutic? described in section 1.1.  I do believe in the therapeutic possibilities of the arts, which I tried to invoke with some success in the fieldwork for this dissertation (see Section 3.7, 4.7), but I don?t identify with any of the specific psychological orientations that art therapists might draw on. Here are a number of basic principles articulated by some of the founding members of the expressive arts field that I see as promising in supporting a therapeutic facilitation direction:   ? The possibility of using different artistic modes (visual arts, drama dance, poetry, music etc.) opens up the possibilities for the engagement of different sensory experiences, and therefore different ways of knowing, understanding, communicating and relating. This is the powerful notion of intermodality (Knill, Barba and Fuchs 2004). ? The very act of creating art is an act that promotes agency, reminding us of our capacity to shape our world. Founders of expressive arts have drawn on the word poiesis, the classic Greek word for the act of making in general and artistic making in particular (Levine, 1997), to draw attention to the productive ?self building, world building? possibilities offered by the arts. ? Artistic work often ?touches us?, we are ?moved by it?, we have an emotive response to it that engages us at a deeper level. This is sometimes called having an aesthetic response to the work. This has the power to change our reality in a way that an intellectual engagement lacks. ? A work of art and particularly the process of art making also has the ability to take us away from our everyday reality that binds and limits us. Instead it frees us up for new possibilities. This is sometimes called decentering (Knill et al, 2005) and has the potential to open up new horizons for action. ? Making art with other people often has the impact of building relationships in a way that talking to them from across the table will not. Art making can restore a sense of community. It builds solidarity. ? Finally, the process of making art ?particularly if well-facilitated? encourages    27 us to stay in the liminal space between what already is and what is becoming, where we have little control over the outcome and have to tolerate a certain amount of chaos and discomfort. If nothing else this is good practice for being in conflict and for staying in the process until something shifts.   Like any other approach to facilitation an arts based approach will have its own challenges, some of which are explored in this dissertation. Not every community is ready to participate in the arts, and the willingness to make art may in fact be difficult to get to. The type of art that a facilitator might encourage can lack cultural resonance for participants. Art making can be logistically complicated and the expectation that facilitators be comfortable in and prepared for different modes of art making may be unreasonable in a situation of limited resources. Also, the arts usually are not enough in themselves ? once we have used an artistic process to shift something in the group we may yet have to return to talking to be able to move forward.   No method is perfect and every method has its strength and weaknesses. I have been asked, ?how is it possible to use two such different methods in tandem?? My response is another question, ?how it is possible not to!?? I have hoped to highlight in my description of the two methods of working with groups that some of the shortcomings of one method are the strengths of the other. I see the two as being complementary in two ways: In terms of offering tools that the other is missing (e.g. the intermodality lacking in DD can come from the arts, the lack of a lens for reading the group in the arts can come from DD), and in terms of offering a whole new paradigm when the one we are using does not seem to fit any more (e.g. DD?s notion that conflict should be tackled directly is in opposition to the arts notion that conflict should be circumvented and not directly tackled. Neither one of these positions is always true and they are both true. Depending on the situation at hand it is nice to be able to choose one or the other.)  The neutrality debate Throughout the stories in this dissertation I often describe my ?performance? as a facilitator by referring to the quality of my neutrality. Lewis identifies neutrality as the    28 core metaskill of DD practitioners. But neutrality is a contested concept ?certainly a contested word? in the conflict resolution field. What are the objections to it, how do I understand it, and how do I justify using it in this dissertation?  In their survey of the mediation landscape, Kolb and associates (1997) suggested that neutrality is one of the central myths of the field, and at the same time the central pillar to which most conflict resolution practitioners pledge allegiance. The concept has been soundly critiqued by Wing (2007), Mayer (2004) and Susskind (e.g. cited in Forester, 1999), among others. The critique is primarily on two grounds. First is that it is not actually possible to be neutral. We may call ourselves neutral, declare a lack of alignment with any specific group in conflict, and claim to look at problems ?objectively? (whatever that means); but in reality every one of us has loyalty to values, worldviews, biases and cultural or personal lenses ?that we are most likely not aware of, because they just seem so ?natural? to us? that we are not able to shake. Neutrality, therefore, is a myth at best and a fraudulent mask for pushing our own agenda at worst. The second objection is that framing the conflict resolvers as neutrals is seriously limiting the potential of the conflict resolution field, both because people are suspicious about claims to neutrality ?for good reasons too? and because the framing limits practitioners in playing more strategic, more creative and more politically significant (status-quo-challenging, power-disrupting) roles in conflict situations. Mayer and Susskind propose that we frame our role as advocates and activist mediators instead, transparently aligning ourselves with a social justice agenda and set out to help parties ?particularly less powerful parties? improve how they engage in conflict to further their goals.  Given these critiques, which I largely agree with, why do I continue to use the concept of neutrality in my practice? In a nutshell, my reason is pragmatic: on the whole, thinking about neutrality ?as I understand it? helps me more than it hinders me. I don?t think of it as ?magical? (Wing, 2007), but I do see it as helpful.      29 How do I understand neutrality? What is clear to me is that I do not understand it the same way that many other practitioners do within the large field of conflict resolution18. A consistent definition of neutrality is hard to nail down, and the word has different meanings in different cultural contexts (Mayer, 2004, p.83). I suspect part of the suspicion around the term comes from this lack of a consistent definition. I also agree with Mayer that ?neutrality makes sense only as a statement of intention, not of behaviour? (2004, p.30). And I agree that framing one?s work as a neutral can be a trap, limiting the possibilities of the alternative roles an intervener may strategically be called to play. For these reasons I actually never use the term ?neutral? to publicly describe myself or to advertise what I do19. Rather, I hold it as a private intention, an aspiration that is only momentarily realized, a pragmatic objective that serves me as I hold space for a group process.    To me, neutrality is an intention not so much to drive a group process, but rather to be driven by a group process and assist it towards its emerging directions and destinations. This intention includes resisting the urge to privilege one set of views but to be equally welcoming toward views, ideas, feelings, beliefs, values, worldviews, epistemologies (etc) that I identify with and those that are different from mine. It is really an intention to be non-judgmental, or rather to ?suspend? judgment, in the attentive ?not dismissive? way that Bohm has talked about (1996). It is to have a ?guesthouse attitude? (Mindell, 2002) towards the truth of ?other?s? views, no matter how outrageous my culture (or the culture of the group) typically finds them to be, so that we can truly begin to bring the differences into the open (Follett, 1941). It is also an                                                         18 For example, I am almost never concerned with either ?impartiality? or ?equidistance?, which Wing identifies as central elements of neutrality (Wing, 2007, p.4), because in most community situations I work with the ?parties to conflict? are not so clearly defined or stable that I can even attempt to define such a precise position for myself in relation to them. It is impossible to know, for example, if elders are going to band together against the youth, or one family against another family, or men against women in a controversial conversation about care for children. In practice, the ?parties to conflict? form and dissolve quickly, and alliances are fluid during a session. They seem to have little to do with the obvious elements of participants? identities or preceived level of power or powerlessness. So it seems more useful for me to be completely present to the roles and polarities that are emerging, making space for each to have their voice, rather than to frame my work as fighting any particular power a-symmetries.  19 In describing what I do I use the term ?facilitator?, which literally is someone who makes things (in this case, a group?s collective process) easier.     30 intention to avoid being attached to a procedural meeting agenda or meeting outcome, so that the process can become what the group needs instead of what I imagine it needs. Put another way, an attempt at neutrality is an attempt to intentionally invite single, double and triple learning loops (McGuire, Pauls, Torbert, 2007) so that facilitators can change not only tools and techniques, but also outcomes, strategies, frameworks and qualities of attention in the moment-by-moment flow of their work.   Clearly, total neutrality is a philosophical impossibility. As soon as I declare (even privately) an intention to engage with a group, I bring with me a host of values inherent in that action: for example, the value of dialogue itself, the value of inviting marginalized voices, the value I place on conflict as a rich source of wisdom and creative possibilities, and a host of others related to why and how I do my work. In so far as I am attached to any such values I am not completely neutral. Even my basic attachment to the intention to be neutral itself flies in the face of the very intention to have no attachment! Some form of partial neutrality is more likely, and more desirable (i.e. I can still hold commitments to de-colonization, friendship, creativity etc. ? but facilitate a session with a lot of openness, including openness to these values being challenged). And even partial neutrality is hard to enact in practice, as I have shown in the stories in this dissertation. At best we can maintain it for a short while in the moment-by-moment work of facilitation, only to realize we have lost it again and attempt to come back to it. The actual practice of coming back to neutrality involves the continuous inner work that is about becoming conscious of all of the world?s contradictions, as they exist within each of us. It involves not a denial of our biases and attachments, or the realities of power inequalities in groups that critiques point to (Wing, 2007), but a continual engagement and disruption of them. It requires building the deeper metaskills (compassion, playfulness, a-beginner?s-mind) that enable neutrality. This is not easy work and for many it may not make sense. But I find that holding an intention for [impossible, partial, momentary] neutrality helps me remain centred and flexible. It makes sense for me.     31 Given all this complexity around the term, why do I use it in the writing of this dissertation? Why not use some other term that is less problematic? My primary justification is that I am really writing this dissertation primarily for an intended audience that consists of two communities of practice I am situated within: one is the community of planners (and aspiring therapeutic planners to be more exact), and the second is the community of Deep Democracy practitioners (or aspiring practitioners). I feel that talking about neutrality is appropriate for both these audiences.    Within the Deep Democracy community the word neutrality is used and very commonly debated along the lines described above. When my colleagues, mentors and I use the term, we have a loaded, complex, slippery but none-the-less commonly-understood agreement about what it means20. In the many conversations with member of the Deep Democracy community that underlie the fieldwork for this dissertation, neutrality was a central theme and talking about it served my work. It seems incongruent to call it by another name in the writing. As well, to the extent that this dissertation speaks back to the Deep Democracy practitioners and adds to their knowledge base, it is only right that it uses the terminology current in that community. I hope that my discussion of the critique of the term above is also a contribution to the Deep Democracy community, causing us all to think more critically about what we mean by the terms we use.  Within the community of planners the term neutrality has no currency, but I feel that it is strategically appropriate to use. Perhaps the most important contribution of my dissertation work is to serve as a cautionary tale to aspiring therapeutic planners (and perhaps also other planners working in communities) not to default to the ?expert? position that has historically shaped our profession, but rather to engage with communities with radical openness (that is, neutrality) about what it is they need, what is right and wrong, and how it makes sense for them to proceed. Introducing the concept of neutrality ?even despite it baggage? is aligned with the spirit of my overall                                                         20 Interestingly, unlike Lewis?s Deep Democracy practitioners Mindell?s Process Work practitioners don?t use the concept of neutrality as a central concept at all. Perhaps I also use the term somewhat strategically to signal my own sense of ?belonging? to the former rather than the latter.     32 provocation to planners. Through our debates, we may ultimately end up choosing not to use this word within planning, but it is an effective term for sparking the debate on the potential for a therapeutic planning role that I wish to spark. 1.4. Analysis and writing methods I have chosen to write this dissertation in two parts. The first is a presentational reflection of my action research project. In this part, which comprises the main body of the dissertation, I rely primarily on literal and visual devices that you may recognize from fiction and other art forms. Here I put forward a gallery of pieces that, individually and collectively, tell stories of what happened in the course of the project (narrative), and describe how I made sense of what happened (analysis). The second part, consisting of this introduction and a more extensive conclusion, is a propositional expression of my action research experience, which is to say that it is written, primarily, in essay format, drawing on the much more familiar linguistic and structural devices of academic writing. In these sections I attempt to complement what has been presented in the body of the document, contextualizing the work and highlighting the main findings.  Here is what you will find in the body of the dissertation: In each of my sections ? ?beginning?, ?middle? and ?end? ? I present a number of vignettes, or accounts of experiences and reflections from my fieldwork in forms including poetry, short stories, dialogues, reflections, mini-essays, photographs, drawings and paintings. I present these from the point of view of three main fictional characters who are PhD students working in the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw community. These accounts are woven together by an ongoing dialogue between the three characters and others, which appears intermittently throughout the sections and reads as something like a play.   The vignettes are narratives of, or aesthetic responses to, actual significant moments in the research: these are more or less ?true stories? of what happened to me, and to others I worked closely with as part of the research. Many of these are autobiographical accounts, reflection of my first person inquiry, and are by definition subjective,    33 introspective and reflective. They are intended, primarily, to present the intellectual, cultural, emotional, psychological and occasionally spiritual experiences that were central to the action research. The dialogues between the characters, on the other hand, are intended primarily to present an analysis of my experiences.  In the dialogues the characters discuss the content of vignettes and related issues, bringing various viewpoints to bear on them, and linking them with theory and other literature. The dialogues, then, are also ?true stories? in the sense that many of these conversations actually did happen, though at different times and in various contexts. They represent my second and third person inquiry.   Why am I writing in this unusual way, and am I the only one? Certainly I am not the only one. In the Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods (Denzin and Lincoln, 2000) sociologist Laurel Richardson describes this approach as mixed genres Creative Analytic Practice (CAP) ethnography, in which ?the scholar draws freely in his or her production from literary, artistic, and scientific genres, often breaking the boundaries of each of those as well? (p.934). Mixing of autobiographical, relational and scientific ways of knowing (i.e. first, second and third person inquiry) are common in notable examples of mixed genres CAP ethnography. These include Trinh T. Minh-ha?s Woman Native Other (1989) which includes poetry, self-reflection, feminist criticism, photography and quotations to help readers experience postcoloniality; Susan Krieger?s Social Science and the Self: Personal Essays on an Art Form (1991) which integrates pottery and painting with text; Sara Lawrence?Lightfoot?s I?ve Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation (1994) which uses fiction-writing techniques and self-reflexivity to tell stories of being African-American and a professional; and Naomi Wolf?s Vagina: A New Biography (2012) which weaves autobiographical accounts with medical and scientific texts, history and literally analysis, and cultural commentary on the connection between the vagina and the brain21. Mixing of genres has also become an acceptable practice within                                                         21 There is also a broader tradition of feminist writers making their own bodies into objects and subjects of art and sites for research. They often weave embodied, autobiographic elements within the classic essay form of feminist social criticism (see for example Susan Bordo and Kathy Davis), performing a more subtle form of ?mixing? the genres.    34 scholarly journals such as Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Qualitative Inquiry, and even in a recent issue of Planning Theory and Practice (December, 2012).  I made the choice to present the dissertation in this way on the following grounds: Postmodern forms for postmodern times? The core of postmodernism is ?the doubt that any method or theory, discourse or genre, tradition or novelty, has a universal and general claim as the ?right? or privileged form of authoritative knowledge? (Richardson, 2000, p.928). If the authority of the academic essay as a form is no longer taken for granted, we are suddenly faced with choice about how to express our research. But more fundamentally, if we buy into the postmodernist doubt, we mistrust all methods equally and think critically about which ones we use, to what purpose and with what limitations. In the case of this dissertation, I have made that choice for each chapter, each vignette, working in the mode that seems most appropriate. This way of ?writing? presents the challenge of striking a balance between purposeful fragmentation and the overall coherence of the document. Additionally, it has caused me to write and re-write (draw and re-draw) many drafts of various segments, in order to discover, for example, if a story comes through more vividly in the form of a poem or a short essay or a sketch.   On the other hand, these experimentations offered opportunities to juxtapose different presentations side by side to signify different or complementary ?takes? on a story. The dialogues between characters opened possibilities of introducing different, often opposing viewpoints on various themes. And the free, fictional format presented the opportunity to bring forward first, second and third person forms of inquiry, which sometimes supported different sets of findings or conclusions. The question may arise: ?which point of view is valid?? or ?which findings are accurate?? Within qualitative research, the issue of validation is traditionally addressed through attempts at triangulation (Denzin, 1978; Flick, 1998), where the researcher deploys different methods ?e.g. Interviews, census data and documents? to validate his or her findings. But as Richardson points out, ?these methods carry the same domain assumptions, including the assumption that there is a ?fixed point? or ?object? that can be triangulated? (2000, p.934). Instead, she proposes that in post-modernist mixed-genre    35 texts we don?t triangulate but rather we crystallize. The imagery of the crystal ?combines symmetry and substance with an infinite variety of shapes, substances, transmutations, multidimensionalities, and angles of approach?. As a result, what the readers get out of the dissertation will also depend upon their own angle of response. While I draw out my own findings in the conclusion of the dissertation, the readers are welcome to do the same for themselves based on the stories told.   Writing to be read ? Richardson laments the fact that much of what is written by social scientists is ?boring?. She asks, ?How do we create texts that are vital? That are attended to? That make a difference??  (2000) These are important questions to me, as are questions of audience: ?Who do we write for? How do we make the writing appropriate for our audiences?? Certainly, this being a PhD dissertation, there is an academic audience, and in particular I am writing for my examiners. Additionally, in the course of this action research I have engaged deeply with a cultural community ?the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw people? to whom I feel accountable and with whom I want to share what I learned.  Significantly, I have also thought of this work as a contribution to a [non]professional community of practicing planners, community developers, change agents, facilitators and conflict resolvers. This is, after all, a dissertation in planning, intending to produce knowledge for informing action (Friedmann, 1987) and supporting the development of practical wisdom (Flyvbjerg, 2001).   When I think about these multiple communities/audiences, it is clear that the writing has to be accessible and engaging beyond academic rhetoric. In putting this dissertation into this form, drawing strongly from story-telling traditions (particularly familiar to my First Nation readers) my hope is that members of my various audiences will simply be able to open the dissertation somewhere in the middle, read something, and get something out of it. Apart from the most enthusiastic or obliged academic kinds, I do not expect many people will read the dissertation entirely, and I hope that both the language (literally and visually) and the ?bite-size format? offers something for those who just want to ?check it out?.      36 More true to the experience and purpose? A primary purpose for doing this action research has been to convey something of the lived experience of doing the work of therapeutic planning, struggling with myself and others in a context of deep rooted conflicts and traumas, and learning in the process. A close examination and illustration of this lived experience, I believe, offers more in response to the research questions than an intellectual analysis of the results. Some have argued that arts-based creative analytic practices are particularly conducive and appropriate in this kind of exploration, ?help[ing] us to access aspects of experience that may not be available to us within actual situations? (McNiff, 1998, p.74). This was certainly my experience. In addition, fictional forms liberated me from the need to work solely with what happened at any one time or what any one person said or did, allowing me to tell a more powerful story of the felt experiences by drawing various events and themes together in creative ways. In this sense, the fictionalized version of the story is, perhaps paradoxically, more accurate. It has the additional benefit of allowing me to bring in many voices while protecting the anonymity of community members I worked with.  In producing these pages I found myself constantly trying to hold myself up to the intentions expressed above: to create something that is not only novel and interesting, but also enjoyable, responsible, true and ultimately offering relevant insights towards answering my research questions.  1.5. The setting and characters  The stories you are about to read in the body of this dissertation feature characters we might classify as fictional, in a setting that we might call non-fictional or real, partaking in events and conversations that are essentially ?but not strictly? factual. I submit upfront that the categories in italics are imprecise, fluid, contested and possibly entirely arbitrary. Social scientists have argued for many years that all reality is fictional in the sense that it is socially constructed (Berger and Luckmann, 1966), and even our own identities are merely a reflection of the stories we make up and tell about ourselves (Holstein and Gubrium, 2000). Within the planning literature, scholars have described the central role of stories in performing planning (Sandercock, 2003) and indeed in    37 shaping a material future (Throgmorton, 1996). Taking a different angle, social critics have warned against the dangers of a society that privileges entertainment over news, making fantasy and illusion more powerful than truth (Postman, 1985; Hedges, 2009).   Whether we like it or not, fiction can be more real, and it is probably more consequential, than factual reality. The power of fictional reality presumably rests on its ability to evoke a more complete (emotional, physical and spiritual ? not purely intellectual) reaction in readers, engaging us and holding our attention in a world where there is a lot of competition for our attention. I am choosing to tell my story in this genre, because it is the most compelling way I can tell it. In my attempt at making it compelling I am hoping to give it a chance to be read more widely and to potentially make a bigger impact in the world.   Against the backdrop of these debates and the unsettling of these categories, I will now describe the real setting of my story and its fictional characters.   Tsulquate Reserve  Located on the edge of the town of Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Tsulquate is a 60-hectare reservation belonging to a First Nations community of some 800 people. The community is comprised of the Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw people, historically two separate Nations within the Kwakwaka?wakw ethno-linguistic group of people living on the British Columbia mainland around Smith Sound and Seymour Inlet, respectively. At the time of European contact, each of these nations was living in relative isolation and on the basis Illustration 1: Location of Tsulquate Reserve    38 of self-sufficiency, relying on subsistence activities such as trapping, clam-digging and beachcombing (Boas, 1975).   In 1964, the Canadian Government ? through the Department of Indian Affairs? relocated the two Bands from their traditional lands to their present location on Tsulquate. The relocation was disastrous in many ways, starting from the fact that the people arrived on the reservation expecting adequate housing and basic infrastructure but finding none. The bands were nearly decimated. Their combined population had by this time declined by 90% compared to the pre-contact period (from 2100 in 1884 to about 200 in 1964, cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994, p.124). The horror of the story has been effectively described in a work of fiction, tellingly titled How a People Die (Fry, 1974).   Somewhat miraculously, the people have survived and in the years since the relocation life has improved significantly on the reserve. The reserve now has physical, cultural and administrative structures that are a source of independence and pride. The band has also made gains on the legal and political fronts having been awarded compensation under the Government of Canada?s Specific Claims Policy for damages arising from the 1964 relocation (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Council, 1988) and making considerable advancement at the treaty negotiation tables since 1994.   Despite these improvements, the community continues to face many difficulties, unfortunately not atypical of First Nation communities throughout British Columbia (BC) and Canada. The latest available Census (2006) results help paint a partial picture:   With a much higher birth rate than almost any other subset of the BC population (12%), the community is quite young (median age of 20). There are about 30 single-parent families on the reserve, almost all headed by women. Unemployment rate is at 38.5% compared with 6% for BC. The vast majority of employable adults rely on government subsidies and social assistance. 75% of those over 15 do not have a high school diploma (compared to less than 20% of the BC population) and most young people drop out    39 before they reach grade 12. Many of the homes are old, badly constructed, poorly maintained, and in need of major renovations (53% compared with 7.4% of all homes in BC). While homelessness is not common, the existing homes are often overcrowded and families often struggle to make rent (payable to the Band Office, which owns and manages all of the housing on reserve). The population is struggling with alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, obesity, diabetes, gambling addictions and sexual abuse. Suicide is a familiar source of sorrow, as are deaths resulting from addictions and unhealthy lifestyles. Much of this is attributed to the intergenerational trauma associated with the history of the community, including the relocation and the impacts of the Indian Residential School experience.  My project comes in the immediate aftermath of a Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) exercise ? the first of its kind on Tsulquate. Between 2008 and 2010, over twenty community gatherings were convened under the CCP umbrella, engaging over 200 band members. The meetings were complemented with other traditional planning research methods including review of existing literature and resources, questionnaires, interviews, mapping, photo and video projects. The resulting plan is a visionary document, an expression of the community?s hopes and plans for its future. It articulates a set of Goals followed by a list of Work Plans organized under eight thematic headings (culture, economy, education, governance, health, infrastructure, land and resources, and social issues). In addition, the CCP articulates a set of three Main Issues, ?broad issues which don?t fit into any one category but are in fact affecting all aspects of the community?: community unity, communication and trauma. One way to talk about addressing these three is to talk about healing or therapeutic planning. The word healing, in particular, resonated strongly with community members I spoke to early on. As such, I saw this as an appropriate setting for exploring the research questions I was most interested in.   Abrielle, Ravenna, Hanane and friends As I mentioned in the previous section of this introduction, I have created three main characters through whom I tell the stories and present various perspectives on the    40 themes of this dissertation. Each of the three characters is based on an inner quality I found in myself or within my close associates, which seemed to assist the task of facilitative/therapeutic planning. The importance of personal qualities and attitudes, or what in Deep Democracy we call metaskills, has been described by other author-practitioners (e.g. Mindell, 1995b and Kirtek, 2002). Collectively, they have suggested over a dozen metaskills that may support a facilitator?s successful engagement. These include truth-telling, personal integrity, courage, patience, innovation etc. While it is hard to argue with the importance of any of these qualities, my careful reading of my first, second and third person inquiry notes, lead me to notice three qualities from this long list that stood out repeatedly, and suggested themselves as crucial to the way I did this work. The three metaskills of compassion, playfulness and a-beginner?s-mind and their relative importance, are in this sense a [post-fieldwork] discovery of this research. They are the metaskills I feel most fit to speak to from my own experience.    I chose to base the three main characters on the three central metaskills as a way to be able to pull apart and explore their interactions and transformation within me over time. I wanted each metaskill to literally have its own traceable journey, and be in conversation with the others. Support for this idea came from an unlikely source: my temporary obsession with comics and graphic novels at the time I started writing this dissertation.  As I was studying the way comics are constructed, I learned that a common approach within the genre is to base each character on one unifying idea or concept22 (McCloud, 2006). At the time I was also browsing an unusual PhD dissertation (Robin Postel and Stephen Lewis?s The Poker Game, 2002) in which four archetypal characters explored the nature of dialogue together (and through dialogue), quite effectively.                                                           22 Examples include the four superheroes of Captain Planet who were based on the qualities of air, water, fire and earth, and the four main characters from the popular comic book series ZOT! who were created after Carl Jung?s four proposed types of human thought: intuition, feeling, intellect, and sensation. Other archetypes such as ?hero? or the ?old wise man? or the ?old witch? are also commonly drawn upon when creating comics (McCloud, 2006, p. 68).    41 As I walked down this path I also struggled: I wanted to tell complex stories and I did not know if I could do this with simplistic caricatures. I was aware that in reality the qualities they represented lived within me and within others, not in pure and isolated form, but in incomplete, always-struggling-to-become form and in interaction with other qualities ? so my characters ran the risk of being flat and not believable. But as my comic-making teacher, Scott McCloud explains, theme-based characterization does not have to come at the expense of communicating subtleties and complexities in the human interactions. The aim is not to simplify the characters at all, but to bring into the setting a broad range of approaches to life, as a way of producing a more fully three-dimensional view of the world (McCloud, 2006, p.69). Thankfully, I found that my characters quickly grew and rounded themselves out with personality as I began to write.   I settled quite quickly on three main characters, Abrielle, Ravenna and Hanane. (A fourth character, Xenia, started as a leading woman, but I had too much trouble writing from her perspective directly, so I chose to move her into more of a supporting role. She continues to be a strong contributor in almost all dialogues.) Here is a thumbnail sketch of each character:  Abrielle (early 30s, mother of one, of European descent)? based on the quality of Compassion. The name Abrielle is of Italian origin and means ?mother of many nations?. The character has recently become a biological mother and brings her young baby, Ocean, into the story with her. She also embodies a mothering archetype. Abrielle is a Canadian-born, white woman who is largely influenced by Eastern traditions of thought and spirituality. She is private and comes across as an introvert. She is, by inclination, sensitive and fragile. She struggles with an existential sadness that manifests itself in periodic episodes of depression. Her dominant psychological hang-ups are about being inherently worthy and valuable.   The quality of compassion, which is exhibited by Abrielle throughout the story, is a central metaskill in Deep Democracy and seen as the root of the facilitator?s ability to be    42 neutral. Mindell (1994) defines compassion as ?nurturing, caring for, and attending to those parts of ourselves that we like and identify with while attending equally to and appreciating those parts that we do not like, that we disavow and that are far from our identity? (p.69). In attending to, and consciously accepting all aspects of ourselves, we also become more accepting of all aspects of others, including those that would otherwise irritate us or scare us ? enabling us as facilitator to invite these ?shadow qualities? into the room. A closely related concept is equanimity from Buddhist Vipassana meditation, which refers to a neutral focus, and ?the ability to accept whatever nature is pointing to in a given moment with a neutral and fair heart? (Mindell, 1994, p.73).  Ravenna (late 20s, single, of Metis origins) ? based on the quality of playfulness. The name Ravenna is a reference to the raven, a symbol of a benevolent trickster in much of Pacific Northwest Aboriginal mythology and culture. The character comes from partial native heritage, but is born, raised and educated in a large city. She identifies with and feels a strong political connection to Canada?s Indigenous people, but is disconnected from the deeper roots of Indigenous cultures and unfamiliar with life on remote reserves. Ravenna is an extrovert, high achieving, and very bright ? balancing the right and left brain hemispheres as a critical intellectual and a creative artist. Her psychological patterns center around what she sees as the victimization of her people, resulting in a desire to fight to right the wrongs of the world, with a kind of idealistic naivet? characteristic of activists.  The metaskill of playfulness ? also closely associated with humour, creativity and the trickster archetype? is of particular value to a facilitator who is trying to unlock stuck dynamics. Humour and play allow for a shift in mood, for saying what cannot otherwise be said, for making tense situations less scary, and for making new aspects of experience visible. All through history and across cultures there have been jesters, clowns, comedians, cartoonists and jokers who are able to poke gentle fun and give us another perspective on our ordinary lives. In this sense, these qualities make possible ?a sense of freedom and spontaneity towards life?s unexpected events? (Mindell, 1994,    43 p.94). They are also some of the most difficult qualities to hone and make appropriate, particularly in a situation of extreme conflict and deep trauma, such as the setting for this story. Ravenna attempts to provide an example of how these qualities ?play out? in practice.  Hanane (early 20s, single, Middle Eastern origins) ? based on the quality of a-beginner?s-mind. The name Hanane has multiple origins, reflecting the global identity of this character who immigrated to Canada as a teenager. In Arabic, Hanane stands for ?softness? or ?tenderness?, while in Japanese it means ?a blossoming flower?, both connected with the character?s youth and childlike qualities. The more common form of the name, Hana or Hannah, means ?gracious? in Hebrew and in Farsi refers to a fragrant variety of flower/herb used for dyeing and beautification. Hanane is observant, has a way with awareness to details and is daring with her questions. She has a particular gift for making friendships with people on the reserve, almost as a way of countering her central psychological questions which are about her own feelings of belonging.   The concept of beginner?s mind comes from Zen Buddhism and is reflected in the famous saying by the Japanese-American monk Shunryu Suzuki: ?In the beginner?s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few." I understand it as the ability to look at the world with fresh, unbiased, even uneducated eyes. In Mindell?s words (1994) "The beginner?s mind is a mind? or perhaps heart? that is open and unbiased. It is not shaded by knowledge but is free and spontaneous enough to follow what we normally forget or overlook? (p.82). The attitude of ?not knowing? is particularly useful to facilitators, and especially in a situation such as the one described in this story, where problems are numerous and pretending to have solutions is a dangerous game. The non-expert, beginner?s mind quality must struggle to stick around even as we become more knowledgeable about the contexts we work in, as exhibited by Hanane in this story.   A number of secondary characters make significant contribution to this story. Among them is Xenia, the local young planner who has invited the other three into the    44 community (roughly based on Jessie Hemphill, and named after one of my favourite young kids on Tsulquate). Xenia straddles and bridges the world of the action researchers and the community. Her name means ?hospitality? in Greek, but also can mean ?stranger?, referring to the character?s generosity as a host, and also her own sense of alienation or isolation as a person who walks in two worlds. I imagine Xenia as exhibiting the metaskill of light touch ?as opposed to heavy-handedness?, a minimalist attitude which makes slight interventions, notices feedback, and lets go if there is no response? (Mindell, 1994, p.111), thus often finding and traversing the path of least resistance.   The story also features a fictional community Elder, Charlie Spruce. As the only adult male with a strong role in the story, Charlie Spruce represents what I see as the height of masculine leadership and wisdom. In writing this character, I drew on five different men23 all in their 50s and 60s (three native, two non-native), with whom I have experienced a deep connection, and who have influenced me at different stages of this exploration. I experienced all of them as exhibiting something of the metaskill of shamanism (Mindell, 1994, p.124)? an almost magical or mystical ability to let themselves be moved by a situation, following their own seemingly irrational impulses, sensations and intuitions, consequently generating surprising and illuminating insights. Their role as clear-seeing advisors and supportive friends, embodied by Charlie Spruce, particularly in his relationship with Hanane, has been an important source of fascination and encouragement.   A few other characters appear as themselves. Ocean, Abrielle?s baby, is based on my own firstborn, Sufiyan (Seff) Murphy. We watch him grow from a 4 months old baby to a one-year-old toddler in the course of the story, and although he doesn?t yet have words with which to participate in conversations, he plays a big role in the action research process as a source of basic human connection. I refer to this character by the name Ocean in part to honour the setting of the story, and also in part in reference to a                                                         23 I have credited some of these Elders by name on the few occasions when I have cited them directly and with their own permission.    45 favourite play of mine, Birth and After Birth (Howe, 1977) in which the mother (named Sandy) is coming to terms with the aspects of her identity, agency and freedom that are constantly eroded by the demanding task of caring for a young child. My Deep Democracy teacher and mentor, Myrna Lewis, appears several times in the role of the coach and supervisor, which she played generously through the course of my field work. Both mine and Jessie?s life partners ? Jeremy and Jamaine? also appear as partners to Abrielle and Xenia. Many members of the GN community make a cameo ? with name changes when necessary to protect their identities, especially when stories surround potentially sensitive topics.  Here, now, is their story.    46  Illustration 2: Beginning Title Page (photo by Jessie Hemphill)    47 2.0. Beginning 2.1. First Encounters [A story in three voices] Hanane? The trip up the east coast of Vancouver Island is long, and the scenery gets progressively more stunning as we push on. A 2?hour ferry ride from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then a 2-hour drive to Campbell River, and another 3 hours after that ? we are finally greeted by large carvings and municipal signs welcoming us to the District of Port Hardy. I find myself slowing down to the pace of this far-up-north place, aided by the hours of staring at Douglas firs, cedars, spruces and alders on the edge of the road. I feel comfortably insignificant against the vastness and the majesty of the Pacific North West landscape, which never seems to become ordinary no matter how much time I spend on this side of the world. ?How long can we afford to dwell in this beauty, before we have to get to work?? I wonder out loud to my fellow travelers. Ravenna? We are here, YES WE ARE! The moment I?ve been impatiently waiting for is here. This is what I have been wanting to do all along: a project that takes me into a setting I care about, where I can actually do something more useful than reading and rehashing theories about what can be done. The first tedious years of the PhD program suddenly feel worthwhile. And to everyone who said an action research project was too ambitious for the timelines of the PhD and that we would never manage to set it all up in time to get here and do the work, I feel like saying: ?look at us now!? Memories of our first trip up to Tsulquate, over a year ago, are alive and running through my head24: We came at the beginning of the CCP process, with our large paper and our markers, and we made drawings of what was being said in community meetings. We made words and symbols and colours and arrows                                                         24 Note for those interested in the ?factual? events and timelines of this action research: I first went to Tsulquate in the spring of 2009 as part of a 5-person team from UBC. In the fall of 2010 I made three trips along with one other UBC colleague. In summer of 2011 I went back with three UBC colleagues. And between fall of 2011 and summer of 2012 I made another eight trips on my own. The events and reactions described in this section represent a summary of my ?first encounters? which in reality took place at various times over several trips.     48 shooting in every direction! People loved it. A delegation even came from a neighbouring Band to check out our work. Some of the drawings made it to the pages of the CCP, and now that the document is done we have been invited back to do more work. Butterflies fly excitedly in my stomach, my eyes search eagerly for recognizable faces and stories, and my mind has already dreamed up a million ideas for things we can do, before our first dinner is fully consumed. I stay up laughing and chatting with Xenia and her family late into the night. I am in my element.  Abrielle? Little Ocean holds onto my collar, putting his warm face against my chest and looking out at the world. I feel lucky that he is too little to suffer from travelling and being away from home and away from his dad. (I?m not sure I?m going to handle it as well as he is.) He sweetly accepts where I am taking him. He trusts me, for no good reason. And I just hope ?for his sake even more than mine? that coming here is the right decision. After our initial trip last year I was sure I wasn?t coming back: I could see loads of trauma and conflict, and no real willingness for this community to look at them. Now the landscape appears to have changed? people seem more ready, and we seem to have more of an explicit invitation to bring our full skill sets into this place. We?re scheduling to start with training workshops on Deep Democracy, to get more people familiar with the way we work, and to build some local facilitation capacity to lead the difficult community conversations with us. Now my question is whether I am ready to be here. Am I too weak, too shaky, too sleep-deprived to step in? Will I be crushed by the weight of what is happening in this community? Or will I be lifted up, inspired by the strength of its people to go on in spite of everything? Ravenna? Our generous hosts invite us in with open arms. We have been given a place to stay here, at the home of Xenia?s parents, while they go to spend a year in Hawaii, where her dad will be making a fortune selling his west-coast landscape paintings ?and his newer adventurous nudes? in the vibrant art    49 market of the Big Island. I am tickled at the idea that the paintings produced from this modest house on this small native Canadian reserve will go on display next to the work of other international artists, making their way into prestigious galleries and the walls of important people half way around the world. It is incredible to be so isolated here, and at once so connected to the world.  Hanane? The house doesn?t look like much from the outside, but once we step in my jaw drops. The large beams and the exposed wood throughout give it a log cabin feel that immediately transports me to an old boyfriend?s family home. But the extra high ceilings, the openness of the main living area, the generous spaciousness of the kitchen, and the many quirky features ? sinks built directly into the walls of bedrooms, a vacuum suction feature incorporated under the dining room cabinet to remove the need for a dustpan? are not like anything I have come across before. On one of our first nights Xenia?s father tells us the story of how he built the house as an amateur architect-designer-builder, virtually single-handedly, using timber and other natural materials from the traditional territories, for about $30 per square foot25! He meant for this to be a demonstration project: introducing an affordable construction alternative and a do-it-yourself mentality that could turn the reserve?s dire housing situation on its head. Sadly the model never did catch on? community members were quick to dismiss it because the house took six years to build. I hear many half-told political, social, cultural and psychological sub-stories as I listen ? but it baffles me to learn that an innovative, proven, affordable, local solution to one of the band?s biggest challenges is sitting right here on the reserve, not being utilized.  Are we foolish to think that we can create change here in this community, when people who have lived here for decades cannot? Abrielle? My colleagues/sisters/partners-in-crime constantly impress me and stress me out. Ravenna has the ability to socialize with anybody. Within moments of meeting any community member she has struck up a conversation with them and they are all sitting around the table, telling                                                         25 Current cost of building a house in Vancouver is an order of magnitude higher at about $300/sqf.     50 stories and laughing out loud like old friends. Hanane, in her own more subtle way makes strong and immediate connections. She will have hours of one-on-one conversation with a woman stirring a pot in the kitchen or a guy chopping wood out back. They both tire me out by generating so much chatter ? and I also feel entirely inadequate next to them. I never seem to find anything much to say to people I have just met. I?m sure they must dislike me and I keep wondering if I will ever survive in this community given how bad I am at being ?friendly?! Thank goodness for Ocean. His presence gives me easy conversation topics? and often also an excuse to retreat to my room when my anti-social tendencies become too hard to negotiate with?  Hanane? Our first weekend on the reserve, I spend the afternoon watching Jerry skin a deer while he smokes cigarettes and drinks beer. He gives me a detailed description of each step, showing me the correct angle of the knife as it touches the flesh, emphasizing the importance of not puncturing the bladder sac (cause that is the one sure way to spoil the whole animal). He takes so much care in instructing me, you?d think I?m getting ready to skin my own deer next week! Xenia films the lesson, smiling regularly at her cousin?s seriousness and skill, and my corresponding fascination and clumsiness. The next day I go berry picking with Xenia and then watch her make four different types of jam and jelly. (Crabapple jelly is my favourite one.) She tells me about fishing trips in the summer with her aunts and uncles and describes in colourful detail the process of smoking and jarring fish, also a family activity. I am blown away at how much of the food consumed in this house is prepared from scratch by the people who live here. Xenia calls it the most central element of her Indigenous heritage. Ravenna? One chilly night after supper we cover the kitchen floor in blankets and lie down around the wood stove like children in their play fort. Jamaine brings out his guitar and we sing along to a hundred silly songs. Ocean sits still and acts like the world?s best audience: fascinated by every note, completely focused on every sound, his eyes tracing the distance between Jamaine?s thick voice and Xenia?s sweet but powerful accompaniment. For a few hours all of the    51 world?s troubles seem to disappear and I can?t help but wonder if music can heal absolutely everything.  Abrielle? Before she leaves, Xenia?s mother comes up to Ocean and I as we hang out in the constant gentle drizzle by the front door. She takes a ten-dollar bill out of her pocket, rolls it up and puts it in Ocean?s little hand. ?In our culture, the first thing an Elder did when they saw the new wee babe was to put a bill into their little hand? she explains. ?That was to ensure their wealth. And not just monetary wealth.? (Colleen Hemphill, GN Elder, pers. comm.) I?m so moved by this, I find myself on the edge of tears. In some small way my little boy now belongs here. I thank her and ask, half jokingly, if the amount of wealth will be related to how long he holds onto to the bill. She laughs and says the only important thing is that the baby gets a good grip. Then she says, ?I think you will do very well here.? I look at her, touched but unconvinced. ?You have a good way with listening and that goes a long way in this community. Most outsiders who come here never give people a hearing.? I smile as a way to say thank you. Then she adds: ?Just don?t try to be productive, and don?t try to fix anything? and you will do great.?    52 2.2. Tsulquate: a pedestrian eye-view  [Hanane?s poem]26  Auntie Irene  Lives in the second house Once you take a left, The only one with a ramp, You can?t miss it. The one at the end of the road With a boat hanging in the deck Is fisherman Dorey?s. And the one by the bridge,  With the trampoline outside And several shirtless boys Always bouncing  Belongs to some part  Of Jack Walkus? large family, I?m pretty sure.  The dogs roaming around Giving birth to pups Right in the middle of the road Seem to belong  To no one in particular.  By my third visit The reserve is familiar  And small: Very small Once I realize I can walk from one end to another In under fifteen minutes. Not many people walk it, Certainly, not many outsiders. Sometimes I have the feeling That I am walking Through the band?s collective living room. People sleep in such close quarters here They share so much ? hopes, challenges, genes? But are also so divided,  Like housemates                                                         26 The stories reproduced in this poem were told by GN Elder Richard George during an interview with Margot Young, and appear here with his stated permission.    53 Who are not on speaking terms And keep leaving notes on the kitchen counter.  While I was learning my way around Somebody at the Band Office Learned I was a planner  And dug out a property map Showing the layout of the res: Every lot and every house ? All one hundred of them? Arranged along the few winding roads. (No digital copies exist.) I xeroxed the map for a workshop Handed it out  With colour pencils and crayons And asked parents To mark on the map Places where their children play.  Nobody did. Instead they studied the map eagerly Folded it  And pocketed it. To go and show others, I presume,  Or put up on a wall: The shape of their community,  Suddenly made visible to them.  I wonder  If that?s why we have come: To make visible What is already,  Undoubtedly,  Invisibly, Here.  Meanwhile, What is visible to me? And what do I overlook? At first The landscape of the res Is bleak and depressing to me: Unkempt homes On deteriorating foundations, Broken windows, Old cars, campers, furniture Hoarded on front lawns;     54 Children biking recklessly On the roads Playing in dust  And rust Among concrete and metal,  While lush woods Lay ?ironically? on the edge of the village. The play-structure  Down by the bridge Almost always unused.  This is not a place That would get a passing grade If it had been designed In my first year planning studio class.  Is it possible To heal In such an uninspiring setting?  In the middle of these thoughts I run into Charlie Spruce Who is walking  Down to the doctors?, Hoping his daughter Will pick him up on the way.   ?Beautiful day!? he says,  And I notice that it is. We chitchat  And walk around the Community Hall Until we overlook the beach.  ?We recently did a beach topic In our Kwak?wala language class? Says Charlie,  Who is learning his mother tongue  At the age of 50. ?We went through pictures Of rocks and shells And everything you see on the beach. After we got that done we?re like: ?Oh we got done early!? So I said: ?What did you do on the beach When you were little??    55 Then, I had three ladies They said: ?Oh, we went swimming,  We played tag, We waded in the water.? I said: ?Did you ever go skinny-dipping?? And they all laughed. And then they started telling stories About when they were young And how they used to go  And chase the boys. And there was a lot of good times When they were young, In the old place, And they were safe.?  I nod and smile And before my mind?s eye I see young girls  Carefree Giggling  Across the strait, On the mainland: The traditional territory Of the Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw.   ?And then there are stories About the raven, the crow, the seagull. I remember listening to an Elder,  Harry Walkus,  And he told us about this beach In around Blunden ? I can?t remember the name of it?  But there is rocks, Flat rocks,  All along the shoreline. And they are different colours. And I said: ?How come they?re all different colours grandpa?? He said:  ?That?s where we painted all the birds. And then we got lazy, We couldn?t paint the crow and the raven. That?s why they are both black!??      56  We laugh out loud And at once I feel sad Nostalgic For the beauty and meaning  Of the place  Charlie and his people came from The memory of it Tangled up  ? Painfully or joyfully ? Reflected In every feature Of this place right here.       57   Illustration 3: A Portrait of Tsulquate    58 2.3. A local history of colonial planning [Ravenna?s exploration] I am leafing through books, reports and internal documents at the Band Office library, attempting to get a picture of the history of this place and its people. A few times I get excited when I come across the name of a distant relative. Far more often I get so outraged at what I am reading that I have to take a break and join the small collection of staff at the building?s entrance for a smoke, before I can make my way back into the texts.   You don?t have to be an Indigenous Studies major to have heard about the evil twin mechanisms by which white settlers of Canada established and sustained a colonial regime that subjugated Indigenous people for the past 250 years: there is the Indian Act (1876), which, among other things, defined ?a person? as "an individual other than an Indian", and the Indian Residential School system (1880s to 1996) that officially and unapologetically set out to ?kill the Indian in the native child?. (Enough said about those.) The evil twins also had an equally wicked brother called Land-use Planning who is better known by names such as ?relocation? and ?putting Indians on reserve?. Only recently has the character of this third brother, and his role in colonization been exposed. We are slowly getting to know him as the bureaucrat who used fancy professional technologies like settlement policies, accounting techniques, surveying and mapmaking, strategic planning and economic rationalization to effectively ?enforce and reinforce the colonial status quo? (Woolford, 2005).    59 It is my reading about this third brother, who could have been a classmate or colleague of mine, that both fascinates and troubles me the most. I?m not naive about my profession. I already know of its shadow side. But to read the accounts of the day-to-day planning decisions that put this very people I am working with in this very place I am standing at, is real and gut-wrenching in a whole new way. It is also so ridiculous, so absurd, that I find it almost laughable. I mean, what were those guys thinking!? I can?t help but keep imagining a wacky story in which the task of relocating the Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw people was designated to a young, bright-eyed planning assistant right out of school, who had the bad fortune of being placed in the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) in the early 60s27: In his first week the planning assistant goes to his boss, the Superintendent at DIA: ?Sir, I noticed that we have these outstanding applications on file for water, sewer and electricity infrastructure to two little native villages ? one is some place called Takush, in Smith Inlet, and the other one is Bahas, in Blunden Harbour. I can?t pronounce the names of the two bands, but each of them made a few applications and we haven?t responded to any of them.? ?Oh, right?, the Superintendent responds, glancing at the pile in the young planner?s hand. ?Those applications... Well, actually it turns out those two villages are quite problematic?.  He passes a recent DIA engineer?s report to the planning assistant, and points to a page for him to read. ? The populations of the two Villages are 108 and 57 respectively ? 16 families at Takush living in 8 houses, and 8 families at Bahas living in 4 houses, 3 others having been recently destroyed by fire? The existing housing on both reserves is extremely bad. Except for two new houses... the houses are practically uninhabitable..." (cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994, p.81). ?Sounds bad?, the planning assistant reacts out loud. ?Are we legally responsible for this??                                                         27 The story of the young intern and his director is fictional, rooted in the facts that I found in the literature, cited throughout this section.     60 ?Technically, yes? the Superintendent responds. ?Our mandate is the ?protection, civilization and assimilation of our charges?. (Tobias, 1983, p.39 cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994, p.29). We?re supposed to take care of them.? ?Okay, well I see in this same pile some old engineering plans for making both villages more liveable?? (Chief G. Walkus, letter to Indian Agent, 1952, cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994).  ?? except that we?re not going to do that anymore,? the Superintendent interrupts. ?I have orders from above to relocate the Bands? (Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 426). ?Relocate?? the planning assistant raises his eyebrows.  ?Administrative Relocation. We move them out of their remote villages and close to one of our towns. It?s really a win-win situation. It makes it easier for us to provide services, it makes it easier for them to get to education and employment opportunities ? the few that they might qualify for? And anyway, ?the relocation will be a very advanced step towards integration.? (C. Roach, Superintendent, Kwawkewlth Agency, letter to J.V. Boys, Indian Commissioner, B.C. 1962, quoted in Emery and Grainger, 1994?)  ?Has anyone ever done this before?? ?Oh yes, it?s practically a best practice! We have relocated many people.? The Superintendent proudly points at the map on his desk, as if giving a geography lesson, ??the Mi?kmaq of Nova Scotia, the Haberonimiut in Labrador, the Sayisi Dene in Manitoba, the Yukon First Nations ? (Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 398) We have a history of it in BC too, actually. The Songhees in 1911, and the Cheslatta Carrier people in 1952. We had to move those people to make room for development (Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 399) but anyway? it is really the best arrangement for everybody.? ?Okay? I guess this is how things are done? the planning assistant says reluctantly.  ?And I am thinking?? the Superintendent explores the map through his glasses, as if dreaming a big dream ?I am thinking we put these people near Port Hardy.? ?You mean? we?re not even going to ask them where they want to move!?? ?Oh, we asked them a few years ago, in the 50s. We tried to ask them but it was a big disaster. They couldn?t agree on a location! (Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 425) So I think we should    61 just tell them where to go this round. Why don?t you go run some numbers and see if we can accommodate them close to Port Hardy?? The planning assistant goes to his desk with his head spinning a little. He takes out a map of his own and reads whatever he can about Port Hardy, and about the Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw. He returns in an hour.  ?Umm, sir, I didn?t notice this when we were last speaking but? you realize Port Hardy is on Vancouver Island, right? Whereas Takush and Bahas are on the mainland. That would be quite a big thing to move almost 200 people across the strait, don?t you think??  ?It?s a long way, but we have enough vessels now. It?s not an issue,? says his boss, casually.  ?I also read that the Gwa?sala and the ?Naxwaxda?xw are really into hunting and fishing, so I think they would be quite lost if we moved them into such a different environment...? The Superintendent chuckles. ?Ah, don?t you worry about that! These people are quite used to moving. They are tribal people, remember? They live one place in the summer, a whole other place in the winter (Holm, 1983 cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994, p.63). That?s their way of life.? ?Oh yes, I know about seasonal migration, but those happen within the traditional territories of each band. We?re putting them way outside their traditional territories! Not even in the same type of territory! How are they going to survive?? (Emery and Grainger, 1994 p.63) The Superintendent looks serious now. ?It?s very sweet of you to worry about these people, but you really don?t need to. They?re resilient. They have lived in this region for thousands of year. They?ll do fine. And at any rate, this is our policy. It?s coming from above. I have no choice in the matter.? ?Okay, I have another question,? the young planner presses on. ?You want me to move both bands to the same little village? Cause I?m thinking, these people ? the Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw ? they hardly know each other. They live far away from each other now. And they have always lived within their own extended family networks (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.66?68) ? to mix them up doesn?t seem like such a good idea...? ?Hold on, did you read the Franz Boas book I told you to read?? ?I did.? ?Well then you should know that your point is irrelevant! These are all Kwakiutl people. They are literally brothers.? He picks up Boas    62 book from his shelf and reads out loud: ??The Gwa?sala sub-tribe of Gi'gElgam (?the first ones?) and the ?Nakwaxda?xw sub-tribe of Ge'xsEm (?the chiefs?) were so closely related that stories described the former being nursed at the right breast of the mother while the latter was nursed at the left breast? (Boas, 1975).? He giggles and goes on. ?See? They couldn?t be any closer than that!? ?All right, but what about the place we?re moving them into and its people? Surely they haven?t been nursed at the same breasts!? ?They are another Kwawkewlth band, they speak the same language. Also, they don?t even live near Port Hardy. Their main village is nine miles away at Fort Rupert. They probably will barely notice that we have given part of their territory to their brothers and sisters.?28 As the planning assistant reluctantly picks up his things to leave the Superintendent adds ?Hey, I really like that you?re paying attention to these details, but you don?t need to worry, we literally do this all the time, we know what we?re doing (Tobias, 1983 cited in Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.29).  ?What are they like? The Gwa?sala and the ?Nakwaxda?xw people? Have you met them?? ?The Indian Agent met them many years ago. He said that the Gwa?sala are ?fairly industrious and law-abiding, but are at a standstill as far as progress is concerned?. As for the Nakwaxda?xw Band, he said ?the members of this band are probably the least civilized of any in the agency, and they do not bear a very enviable reputation?. (Reports of Indian Agents, W.M. Halliday, Kwawkewlth Agency, Alert Bay, 31 March 1912, cited in Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, p. 425) We are helping these people and we are doing a good job.? He ended with confidence.  In 1960 the young planner is mystified when the proposal for amalgamation at Tsulquate is rejected by both the Gwa?sala and the                                                         28 As it turns out, the three bands were related only in language. They had always considered themselves as being quite different from one another. When the three officially became one band, a whole set of problems followed. The former Kwawkewlth suddenly became a minority within their own land and the Gwa?sala and ?Nakwaxda?xw people now had more political clout because they outnumbered them. The political and administrative situation became so nonsensical that the people at Fort Rupert felt it was necessary to elect a Village Committee to advocate on behalf of their community because the 'official' political body - the Kwawkewlth Band Council, comprised almost entirely of the Gwa?sala-?Nakwaxda?xw people- was preoccupied with the legacy of the relocation. Eventually, the Kwawkewlth band launched a grievance to dissolve the amalgamation in 1968 and ask for compensation for the loss of their land. After a number of years the issues were finally settled (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.66-68)     63 ?Naxwaxda?xw bands, based on a vote of their membership. But the Superintendent assures him, ?We?ll get them to move. We just need more carrots and sticks? (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Council, 1988, p.1). And so the junior planner is given the task of articulating the carrots and sticks? promising improved services, and threatening with cuts to services if the bands refuse to move.  Then they go back to the bands in 1962 for another vote. By now rumour has it that many Band members are reluctantly admitting that a move closer to education and health services, and to a community that had sewer, water and electricity, might be best for their children (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.36.). So a large community contingent comes to the school where the DIA official is making a presentation.  The Superintendent uses the school blackboard to describe the things that will come as a result of the move (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.11) . ?Should I write these down and make photocopies for everyone in the room?? the planning assistant asks. ?Don?t bother. They don?t much like to read here!? whispers his boss.  The vote goes through this time and the bands agree to move. But in the years to come, the Elders who were present at the meeting repeatedly scratch their heads, not being able to remember exactly what was promised to them, and ?in the absence of an official record? not being able to find out (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.12).   Excited about the progress in his little project, the planning assistant goes back to the office to make arrangements for the move. A few days later he comes to his boss. ?We?ve got a problem.? ?What is it this time?? the Superintendent asks. ?I am trying to draw the subdivision plan for the new Tsulquate reserve. I went to the engineering division downstairs and it turns out we have no detailed maps of the area. In fact the area has not been surveyed at all? (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Band Specific Claim, p.29). ?And what?s the problem?? his boss asks. ?Well? I learned in planning school that you need a ground survey before you can lay down a subdivision plan. I mean, I learned that you should also walk the land before you plan it but that obviously is not an option here?? ?Why would you need a survey? There is nothing there! It?s empty land.?    64 ?I at least need to know if there are major natural features ? rivers, lakes, wetlands, cliffs, important habitats...? The Superintendent scratches his head. ?I never heard of this ?ground survey? problem. Do we have budget for it?? ?We certainly don?t.? ?Well then you?ve got to figure out how to do without it.? So the planning assistant goes back to his desk, grabs the general topographic map of Tsulquate from the engineering division, takes his ruler, and simply draws a number of squares on the map representing building lots. As it turns out he does miss some important geographical features: at least one of the lots he draws ends up being largely in the river, and many of the lots end up being on solid rock outcroppings that make it virtually impossible to build given the technology of the time. In fact no more than 17 of the lots the planning assistant draws turn out to be developable (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Band Specific Claim, p.29).  ?How are the arrangements for that relocation coming along?? the Superintendent wants to know a week or so later.  ?We?ve got our guys building houses out there and we?ve got boats to carry people over to the Island. So it?s generally under control.? ?Excellent.? ?I do have two remaining concerns though. One is that I feel we really should have some type of social planning to go along with the relocation to help people adjust to such a different way of life. But the social services division is not answering my phone calls.? ?I know. The guys at social services are too busy with the adoption scoop right now.29? ?So we?re not going to have a social plan?? ?We are not mandated to. I?d like to, but I don?t see how we can.? ?Okay then... My second concern is that I don?t have time to develop an implementation plan.? ?Implementation plan? Is that what they told you to do in planning school too?!? ?Yes.?                                                         29 Adoption ?scoop? or ?60s scoop? of First Nations and M?tis children occurred between 1960s and 1980s. Thousands of children were taken and adopted out from their communities without the knowledge or consent of their families. 70% went to non-Aboriginal homes.    65 ?That is cute!? The Superintendent jokes, probably not suspecting that the absence of these two elements will later be considered largely responsible for what will be called ?the worst social disaster to occur on Vancouver Island? (Ben Maartman, Company of Young Canadians field staff memo to CYC Executive, Ottawa, Feb 18, 1975 cited in Emery and Grainger, 1994, p. 46).  Having  by now submitted himself to ?the way things are? at DIA, the planning assistant casually reports to his boss that there are ?a few things still missing? a day or two before the relocation is scheduled to happen in 1964.  This is a bit of an understatement: of the eight houses the bands were promised only 3 are built; the promised pressure water system, sewer system and recreation centre are not in place (and won?t be built until 1969, 1971 and 1988 respectively); there is no safe anchorage for the fleet of fishing boats as a result of which the bands lose their entire fishing fleet (and their principal means of livelihood) within days of arriving in Tsulquate (Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Council, 1988). A few minor details30.   Within a year of the relocation, the planning assistant finds himself rushing to his supervisor?s office: ?Things are bad on Tsulquate.? ?What did you hear?? ?People are dying. Apparently the 60-plus age group is just dying out. The babies too: 20% of the ones born this year died in infancy. (Culhane, 1984, p. 21 and 24) The older kids don?t have good care; they are going into foster homes by the dozen. The provincial social workers said they can hardly keep up. (Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 427)? ?And what is the morale like? What?s happening on the streets?? ?It?s a nightmare. People have no livelihood, they are drinking lots (Robert Walkus, Sr. cited in Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, 1996, p. 427) Rumour has it that some are trying to make their way                                                         30 In reality, the promised carrots that casually went missing around the time of the relocation, along with the many examples of neglectful and irresponsible planning practices described above, was devastating to the two bands. What compounded the troubles was the lack of adequate private, collective and familiar natural spaces where people could work through their confusion and anger the way they had for centuries before (Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.8.) The traditional methods of healing had been taken away along with the land.     66 back to their homes in their traditional territories. That will undo everything we?ve done.?  The Superintendent sighs. He rubs his eyes and nose anxiously and sighs again. Then he goes back to his paperwork and orders without looking up: ?Send someone to the home villages to burn down their houses.? (Superintendent Roach interview by Nowasada/Klaver, 1985, cited in Emery & Grainger, 1994, p.81) The planning assistant is speechless. He feels a cold sweat building on his forehead.   ?Did you hear me?? ?Yes sir.? He proceeds with the order, no more questions asked.  And that is what planning has historically done for the community we are here working with. Perhaps the only piece of luck we have is that most band members haven?t read the devastating stories I have been poring through. Otherwise, I am sure they would turn us away at the bridge.    67   Illustration 4: Workshop Announcement     68 2.4. Stumbling as education [Abrielle?s supervision]31  SECTION ONE: ACCOUNT OF SESSION AND REFLECTION-IN-ACTION Abrielle? So, should I tell you what happened in a nutshell? Coach? Yes, I am dying to hear. Abrielle? Okay, so we had a session yesterday morning with about 20 of us in the room ?including me, Hanane and Xenia. The others were community members: about half of them were staff of the Band Office and other engaged adults, the other half were teenagers, who had come with two of their teachers from the on-reserve alternative school. And it turned out that we had a very very difficult dynamic with that kind of combination of people in the room. I ended up having to change plans multiple times to engage people, and despite that I ended up losing some people. Coach? Some people left? Abrielle? Yes! Coach? Okay, tell me about it one bit at a time. Blow-by-blow. What did you do and what did you see? Abrielle? So at the very beginning we were sitting in a circle, and I started by asking everyone to check in and just tell me briefly who they are and how they?re doing.32 People said the usual variety of things: I am tired, I feel hyper or whatever. But the kids? well, a couple of the kids checked in, and the rest of them weren?t saying anything at all. And then suddenly one of the teachers who had come with the students said, ?Okay, I?m going to introduce the rest of our students for you!? And she went around the room and said the names of the students who hadn?t spoken. I was a little taken back by this, I had never seen this happen in a check-in before, of somebody speaking on behalf of others so explicitly. So, right away I had alarm bells going off in my mind, thinking ?okay, this could be a hard meeting.? (chuckling). I slowed down and checked again if anybody wanted to say anything more then, hoping that some of the youth would speak for themselves, but none of them did, and eventually I moved on.                                                          31 This section is based on the transcript of a supervision call with Myrna Lewis. The event described took place in Nov 2012. Jessie Hemphill and a UBC colleague were present (represented here as Xenia and Hanane.) Please note, I have not polished the text in order to keep the original dialogic quality of the interactions.  32 A check-in is a way to give everyone a chance to arrive and have a voice early on in a meeting, and to bring to the collective awareness what is in the room ? including feelings and special needs. Instead of going around in a circle, the convention in Deep Democracy is to invite participants to check-in ?pop-corn style?, which is to say that participants speak whenever they are ready (or ?hot?, like pop corn), in an undetermined order.    69 I started to teach them about Deep Democracy, as was the plan, starting with the iceberg and the idea that there is a conscious and unconscious part to the group.33 We talked briefly about examples of what was in the conscious and unconscious of the group in the room, and people got a little personal here, sharing things about themselves that others in the room probably didn?t know. It was going well enough. Then I moved to teaching them about the terrorist line34 and people seemed even more engaged, offering examples from their own lives and their community. But the youth, well, a few of the boys were really not into it. They were slouching in their chairs, with their head in their hands and their eyes closed, falling asleep. Just not into it.  I figured that we needed to move into something more active, I thought I?d introduce the Soft Shoe Shuffle35 to help them move around and become more engaged.  So we stand up and I explain the Soft Shoe Shuffle as a conversation technique that involves walking, and I say lets just talk about your reactions to the terrorist line teaching. But what happens now is (chuckling) that the conversation turns very quickly to the politics of the band, the issues of leadership and governance. It was a hot conversation, and a good honest conversation? people were talking about accountability and apathy and they were even owning their parts in the problems. But, again, the youth were not engaged. I think one of them offered something at the beginning, but very quickly all the youth were standing on the outside just watching. I was surprised at this. Everything I had heard and read about this technique said that it works really well with kids and teenagers. So I was a little shocked. I kept hoping one of them would say something for me to amplify them36 and bring them back into the group. Finally one asked if he could have a snack from the table, and I amplified this saying ?Enough talking! Let?s go eat!? And so we went for a break.  So in the break I quickly spoke to Hanane and Xenia about what they were seeing ? and we all agreed the Soft Shoe Shuffle conversation was very rich. But I was worried that we were leaving the youth behind and I just couldn?t see the dynamic improving if we went back into the exercise. So I suggested instead that I would teach the group the four                                                         33 The key metaphor of Deep Democracy is an iceberg ? the visible section represents the conscious part of the group, the things that are being said that everyone is aware of, the larger invisible section represents the unconscious part of the group, the things that not everyone is aware of.  This is based on Jungian psychology, identifying the collective conscious and unconscious. 34 A key concept in Deep Democracy is the existence of a tendency to resist the direction of the group?s leadership (particularly a ?king? or authoritative figure), particularly when we feel that our ideas are not listened to or our feelings are dismissed. This is provocatively described as a ?terrorist line?, suggesting that the acts of resistance start in a covert way (little jokes, gossip etc) and end up becoming more overt if not acknowledged (disruptions, openly verbal conflicts, and ultimately disbandment). 35 The Soft Shoe Shuffle is a simple Deep Democracy technique. It is like having a conversation on our feet. Somebody says something and stands somewhere in the room. Other people stand close to that person if they agree with the point, or they walk away if they disagree, stand somewhere else and make their point. Very quickly we get a picture of where people stand on various ideas. People who don?t like to talk can still participate, simply by walking around in response to what is being said. 36 Amplifying is a Deep Democracy technique: The facilitator repeats what a person is saying (standing next to him/her), but makes the message louder, sharper, more direct, taking out some of the politeness, magnifying any humour or emotionality that might be there ? so that it is easier for others to hear what is truly being said. Amplification often brings out the hidden dynamics in a group, changing the conversation, often taking it  deeper more quickly.    70 steps of decision-making,37 and then invite them to make a decision about how to go on. The girls said they would defer to me because I seemed to know what I was doing (laughing). So we debriefed the Soft Shoe Shuffle fairly rapidly, and I then went over the four steps of decision-making and wrote them on the flip chart ? and then tried to use them on the spot. So I said, you know let?s decide as a group what we should do next. I said: we can go back to the Soft Shoe Shuffle and talk more, or I could teach you some more things, we could decide to just stop now and go home, or we could do whatever we want. What do you guys think? And they listed about five options. The youth were talking again at that point. We voted on the options and we got 11 out of 19 votes in favour of staying and changing the topic of the conversation so we can talk about hopes and dreams for the community. Now the other eight people ? almost all of the youth? voted for the option to leave (laughing.) Because I was aware of this big split in the room I decided to slow down and really spend some time on the last step of the decision-making: asking people what they needed to go along with the majority decision.  That was kind of interesting, asking that question. They said things like, you know, let?s make sure we talk about something that everyone can relate to and talk at a level that everyone can understand; that we should be allowed to eat during the conversation whenever we want; that if we?re going to be here we all make an effort to be present. And then there was one of the staff who actually had to leave for another meeting at this point, and he kind of used the opportunity to say ?thank you, and this was great, and goodbye?, and so I generalized that situation as a condition for going forward with our decision:38 ?we recognize that some people may leave, and we?re okay with that.?  I have to say that we were clearly at some kind of edge in the group because there was a lot of rowdiness and it was really hard to get the youth to be attentive enough to even raise their hands for the decision, so I had to repeat myself several times. And actually, in the course of the decision-making, two of the young boys kind of got kicked out the room. They were being really rowdy and disruptive, punching each other? So the teacher pulled them aside and eventually took them outside, and the two of them didn?t come back. And another student was gone for all intents and purposes ? he was by this time sleeping next to the door, lying on the floor. So what I am saying is, that ?leaving? role really manifested itself.  All the other youth stayed for the rest of the session even though they now had the option to go home.                                                          37 Deep Democracy articulates some easy-to-remember steps for decision-making: 1. Gain all the views. 2. Make it easy to say ?No?. 3. Spread the ?No? (see who else disagrees, to avoid creating scapegoats). 4. Take a vote and if there is a majority view ask the minority what they need to come along? Then integrate the minority?s suggestions into the decision. This is an alternative to both the majority-democracy and the consensus decision-making models. 38 Part of the understanding in Deep Democracy is that if something is true for one person in a group it is probably true for others as well ? even if they are not able to articulate it themselves. This is based on an understanding of the group as a field, instead of a group of individuals. In this case, we can see that there is a role of ?leaving? in the group that wants permission and understanding. It is expressed by one staff member, but probably true for several of the youth. So the facilitator makes that permission and understanding explicit and applied to everybody.    71 And then here we were, talking about our hopes and dreams. It was like a sharing and a brainstorm, and I just started to map what was being said on the flip chart. At this time, by the way, I had also kind of ?left the room?. I was there in the flesh, but there was a good 10 or 15 minutes when my mind just kind of went wooosh, and I was really struggling with being present. I felt confused and numb, almost on the verge of tears. I felt like I wasn?t even doing Deep Democracy, I didn?t know what I was doing, I was just kind of absent-mindedly writing things on a flip chart. And probably a few minutes into that I became aware of my own state. Then I realized, oh, I am just doing the 4-steps of Deep Democracy: I am asking for the different views and bringing out and spreading the views. I eventually was able to bring myself back in.  So people talked about their hopes and dreams and there were a few themes that came out. One was about loving sports and wanting to play basketball, and then somebody said their dream was to put basketball hoops in the Community Hall so that the youth could have a place to play. This had a lot of energy and so I asked, okay well how could we actually make this happen? And then the youth went back to some of the stories they had told a couple of hours earlier when we were talking about the terrorist line. One story is that a while ago the band had put new flooring in the Community Hall, and some of the community members, young people I think, didn?t like the new flooring and so they broke into the Hall and ripped it out. And they had complained at the time that they weren?t consulted about what kind of floor they wanted. The second story was that the year before the students at the high school had been on a kind of strike when the school principal installed a cell phone jammer and cut off cell phone access on the school grounds. In response the students had gone on strike and refused to go to class, until they finally forced the principal to give them cell phone access again. And I mean this tells you how advanced the terrorist line is in this community: the youth are angry, they are ready to explode.  So then I said, you know, this is some of the history of what has gone wrong in the Hall and at the school before ? and they said yeah, it was because the decisions were made top-down and the community members were not involved! So I asked: if we were going to implement the idea of basketball hoops, how would we do it differently so it wouldn?t be a top-down decision? What could you do instead? People took up that question and we started listing different options: the students could conduct a survey in the community, they could go door to door and see what the objections might be to basketball hoops and how they can be addressed? And then one of the things they said was actually that the youth could go on strike and force council to make a decision and allocate money for basketball hoops! So the youth were saying, well maybe if we are really loud then we can force them to give us what we want! And then suddenly out of this came the idea of establishing a youth council that would run parallel to the Band Council, and mimic the electoral model and meeting procedures and have some kind of official influence on the band, or can at least bring in the voice of the youth, who are more than 50% of this community. This was apparently not a new idea, but there was a lot of energy around it and we spent the rest of the session, a good 15-20 minutes, hashing it out. The youth seemed a lot more engaged now. At some point one of them said, you know we need a really cool kid champion who can push this    72 forward, and right away one of the boys raised his hand and said: ?I will be the kid champion!? So it was cool, cause the leadership was really showing up in the room. And the adults stayed engaged too, a lot of them said that they wanted to support the youth council.  So yes, we ended on that note. We did a check-out, I asked them what they thought of the meeting and the comments were very positive. Mostly people said that they were feeling really excited and energized by the thinking around the youth council. Some of the youth commented that the basketball conversation really woke them up and now they really want to do what they can to help their community. Other people said that they enjoyed the meeting, the metaphors of Deep Democracy really made sense to them. The teachers talked about being excited and proud of the students who had participated and stuck around. One of the teachers articulated very beautifully something about how different people had engaged in different shapes and forms, and that everybody might be taking away something different from the session. The only negative comment, really, came from Xenia who said she felt kind of heartbroken about the people who had left and was sad that we weren?t able to fully engage everybody. But other than that, everyone seemed really happy. Coach ? That sounds like a great ending. What did you do immediately after? Abrielle? Right after, we ? Hanane, Xenia and I? spent a bit of time talking more with the school teachers and they explained to us some of the dynamics of working with the youth ? for example that there are some disability issues that they are dealing with. They said they work with the kids every day and they still find it really hard to engage them, so they thought it was amazing that so many of them had sat through the session. And they also said, you know, even if the students weren?t talking, we could see that they were engaged, we could see it in their eyes, they were listening to you and they were whispering things to each other ? they were engaged. And then the three of us checked out together. Hanane was very happy with what had happened. But for me there was a feeling of anxiety about the fact that several participants had left, and both Xenia and myself felt anxious about how the staff had found it, whether they saw it as a waste of time? And also we both felt that I had done some Deep Democracy teaching and showed some tools, but it wasn?t a very clear teaching. If part of my objective was to train some novice facilitators, I had really failed on that front. The session had felt more like an intervention, rather than a lesson. So I was quickly re-writing my project plans in my head! Because I realized that my idea of teaching some skills to people, and then involving them in facilitating larger community processes was not going to work. Coach? And how did you feel about how you facilitated?  Abrielle? I felt that I actually facilitated it pretty well. I mean I couldn?t have survived that session a year ago! I was able to follow the group pretty well and let it take me where it needed to go. What I had done after the break seemed to have really shifted the energy. Also I was happy with how we left it: the energy at the end was really good. So yeah, most of the anxiety was not so much with how I was leaving the participants but how I was leaving myself and my project! (laughing)     73 SECTION TWO ? COACHING AND REFLECTION-ON-ACTION Coach ? There is so much richness here, and I didn?t want to interrupt you so I could get the whole picture. And now there are so many different ways we can go with the coaching. One would be an analysis of what took place and what you could have done differently. Or it could be looking at your own personal feelings and where you are at now. What would be most relevant for you and where would you like to go? Abrielle? I was feeling very emotional about the whole thing last night but I am feeling okay now. And I have to lead another session today, so maybe we should focus on what I could have done differently so that I can properly prepare for my next session.  Coach ? Okay. I want to make sure I understand some of the details? at yesterday?s session, how many people stayed at the end? Abrielle ? There were three youth and one adult who left.   Coach? And the adult had to go to another meeting and he had told you that before, right? Abrielle? Yeah. Coach? So only four people left and 15 stayed, which is pretty good. That?s very good. I?ve done much worse than that! So I must say before we go any further, that I think you did amazingly, even though you don?t seem to see that. But you had a very difficult group to work with, and it sounds like this group of teenagers who are on the terrorist line ? understandably, because they don?t have a voice ? finally had a voice. So irrespective of if they ?learned? DD, it sounds like the space you created was a safe enough space and that the process held enough that they could have a voice, and they did.  Abrielle? Uhum. Yes, I guess. Coach? So let?s go over the different parts. It sounds like from early on in the check-in, when the teacher spoke on behalf of the youth, there was already an indication that they didn?t have a voice, which you picked up on. I am wondering if you could have done a slight intervention at that moment when the teacher spoke and said, you know, ?even though this is usually how it is done here, it would be nice if everyone could say their own name?. In a very gentle way. Not to feel that you?re imposing, but just to say, you know, ?this is a method and this is how we do it.?  Abrielle? Yeah, I see what you?re saying. Honestly I strongly hesitate to go against the community norms of the teachers speaking for the students ? or the Elders speaking for the families? in a direct way. Because, my focus really is trying to be respectful of the cultural protocols in the community, which I don?t yet 100% understand ? so that might be a thing to work towards over the long term: to find a gentle way to assert myself without coming across as rude. I don?t think this is the right time for it now.  Coach? Sure. And the other way you could have done it would be to do the check-in as a Soft Shoe Shuffle. You know, somebody says how they?re feeling and other people stand next to what is being spoken, and that way almost mapping out the different feelings    74 and roles in the room. We use this in the really large processes with hundreds of people, have you seen that?  Abrielle? Yeah I think I have seen that. But again, given that the Soft Shoe Shuffle totally didn?t work when I later used it in the session I would be nervous about starting off with it.  Coach? Right, but I?m thinking that you might have done the Soft Shoe Shuffle in a very simple and static way, when it is more like ? how would I say ? more like a warm up. Abrielle? Oh, like an ice-breaker. Coach? Yeah, so it doesn?t have this feeling of ?a big thing? about it. It would be a way to introduce people to this style. Anyway, just as a suggestion to think about.  Abrielle? Okay, yes, that makes sense. I might try that. Coach? Now, you had this group of youth who were on the terrorist line from the word go. But it sounds like in the Soft Shoe Shuffle is when you really got the resistance showing up. Basically they stepped back and disengaged? Abrielle? Yes. As I introduced that exercise I had even said, ?if you don?t like to talk or if you?re shy that?s okay, you just have to move around and stand next to people. You don?t have to talk!? But in retrospect I think it was the actual physical aspect that was the problem. When we debriefed with the teachers after the session they said that many of these youth have been abused as children and they are very hesitant to get close to adults.  Coach? And also it seems like the topic itself marginalized the youth, because they couldn?t follow what was going on.  Abrielle? Yes, absolutely. I mean, I could barely follow what was going on myself (laughing). Ummm, would you ever? well, I mean at some point I was tempted to somehow amplify the actions of the youth, like the standing around or the lying on the floor or something like that.  Coach? Yes I would absolutely do that.  Abrielle? So I could amplify it physically by lying on the floor myself? Coach? Exactly, that would be a way of bringing that ?I don?t want to participate? role into the consciousness.  Abrielle? And that would have been important because that?s a big issues in this community: that absenteeism ?the lack of accountability and the widespread apathy. In fact that was basically what the adults were talking about. Coach? And at the same moment the youth were absenting themselves. So what the group was talking about was happening real time in the room.  Abrielle? Yes, exactly. And I was aware of that but didn?t know what to do about it. Coach? So I wonder if you could have said something like that to bring it to the awareness. Like you could say, ?well, we are talking about people not being engaged in the community? ? and then you would stand or even lie down next to the disengaged    75 youth? and say, ?and maybe we are also that part right now: the not very involved, the absent from the discussion?. Abrielle? Got it.   Coach? Okay then, tell me again, you did a debrief of the Soft Shoe Shuffle? What were the dominant views then? Abrielle? Well, some people seemed to really have liked it. They said things like the conversation was illuminating, that it was nice to have people stand next to them when they spoke so they didn?t feel alone. But the thing that stood out was somebody said ?I noticed that some people were participating and some people were not, and as somebody who was participating I found this annoying?. And then there was almost a kind of defense against that, which came from one of the youth who said, ?I was following the conversation, I was listening, I just decided not to move?. If I had amplified it, it would be like: ?Don?t tell me that I am not participating! I am participating, thank you very much!!! But I am doing it in my own way. I am not doing what you want me to do, but don?t accuse me of being absent!? Coach? So it sounds like at that point in time there was a fair bit of tension in the room between the desire to participate and the feeling of I either can?t or don?t want to participate. And that could have been another opportunity for you to bring it into the surface with a little amplification. Abrielle? Yes, that would have been a good idea.  Coach? I even wonder if you could have introduced a little bit of an argument at that point.39 Because by now it?s obvious that this participation or lack of participation is the big issue in this group and in this community ? it?s the field?s issue. And there may have been a segue into it at that point. But Abrielle, as you hear me say that, what do you think? Abrielle? Well I agree with you. I think I needed a segue and I missed it. But definitely an argument, if we could have managed to have one, would have helped with the tension.  Coach? Right. So as you think about your next group, just be aware that this dynamic may come up again, since it is so deeply embedded in the context and in the field ? and anything that can allow you to go there would be very helpful. Abrielle? Okay. Coach? And just to make it very clear and put it in context of your larger learning about using these tools, let me put it this way: You?ve picked up on a subtlety in doing this                                                         39 The Deep Democracy argument is a technique that identifies two opposing opinions or feelings or states (in this case, ?I participate? versus ?I don?t participate?) and have people speak from those two sides, one side at a time. Each person can speak from both sides and they often do ? since the polarities tend to be present within each of us (e.g. there is part of me that wants to participate, and there is part of me that doesn?t). Once both sides have said everything that can be said, insights often emerge for the participants, and there may be a transformation ? a lessening of the tension- around that dynamic in the room.    76 work which is that often the thing to pay attention to is the interpersonal dynamics in the room ? that is actually the issue, as opposed to the content of what is being talked about. The dynamics itself is playing out what people are trying to talk about, and following the dynamics can actually give you more information than what people are saying. Am I making sense? Abrielle? Yes. Coach? And by the way, this often happens in community work and particularly when people are not very verbal, or when people aren?t used to going to meetings and talking. The dynamics become the thing that you need to work on, as opposed to the content. And I think you should watch out for that more when you go into your next session. Abrielle? Uhum.  Coach? Now, all of that having been said, it sounds like the discussion that took place next, the one about the hopes and dreams was very interesting. So, you were using the four steps during that discussion, looking for various views etc. And did you in any way reinforce your teaching of the steps and say ?this is what I am doing?? Abrielle? No, I didn?t. That was when I was totally checked out and struggling.  Coach? Sure. Abrielle? I mean I wasn?t even aware myself, it took me a while to be like, ?wait a minute what am I doing? Oh, I am doing the four steps!? (laughing) But at the time I wasn?t conscious.  Coach? Uhum. But it?s very interesting? It would be interesting to look at why you checked out at that point in time and what was happening for you. Or we could continue to talk about what happened for the young people during that discussion. What I am really saying is, should we carry on the skills discussion, or should we stop now and look at the deeper stuff for you, why you checked out, cause that would be very telling and give you some good learning too. So what do you feel comfortable doing now? Abrielle? It kind of scares me to look at the personal stuff, so maybe we should go there! Coach? And what would you need to make it safe to go there? What?s the ?no?? If you honour and listen to that part, what does it need? Abrielle? (after a pause) I guess I just need to make sure we have a complete process here, cause I don?t want to be emotionally destroyed and then have to go into my next session (chuckling).   SECTION THREE? DEEPER COACHING AND INNER WORK Coach? So, Abrielle, just go back to that point when you were writing on the flip chart and you tuned out. Just tell me what was happening for you. Abrielle? (pause) Many things were happening for me. At one level, I was comfortable with the group?s decision and with the idea that anyone could leave. I was kind of    77 relieved that the people who really didn?t want to be there had left because there was a lot less disruption in the room now, and it was way easier to facilitate.  And then at another level, I felt devastated that people had left. I was heartbroken. I felt that I hadn?t been engaging enough, that I had failed to change people?s mind about how fun it was to be in meetings!  And then at a third level, I was a little bit surprised by the choice of ?hopes and dreams? as the topic. I felt like it was a superficial topic, a non-controversial topic. And anyway, they have already had that conversation while they were in the planning process. I felt like this was a bit of a cop-out to go back to the surface and talk about motherhood and apple-pie. I guess I got hooked by that. I lost my neutrality40.  (Pause) But overall I would say that the dominant feeling in that moment was one of disappointment and failure. Coach? Okay, so if we look at that feeling of being disappointed? if you go into that feeling for just a little bit longer? just stay with if for a big longer, take it a bit further? what comes up? Abrielle? (after a long pause) Well, what comes up is a sense that what I?m tackling is a much bigger beast than I thought it was (chuckling). That things are actually a lot harder in this community than I expected. And I don?t have, I don?t have what it takes to do it, or the tool isn?t good enough to do it, or maybe a mix of those two things.  Coach? So, it sounds like you?re coming into contact with you own sense of impotence in relation to the whole task, am I right?  Abrielle? Yeah, because I think this session was a typical example of what it is like to work in this community. You know, I?ve read about all sorts of traumas and the frustrations and the different issues. So in a way I have signed up for this with awareness, but when I am actually facing it in this way, I really question whether I have anything to offer. And there is almost a feeling that I have been so arrogant to think that I do. (chuckling)  Coach? And now, just stay there in that moment, just allow yourself to feel it, allow yourself to in a way drown in it, like ?I can?t do anything for this community, no matter what I do it?s pointless, useless?. Abrielle? (long pause, starting to weep) Coach? And when you can, just take your time, but when you can, just tell me what?s happening for you.                                                          40 Neutrality on the part of the facilitator is a main principle of Deep Democracy. The idea is that the facilitator can only make a truly inviting and safe space for the participants to reveal their truth, if he or she can be neutral. Neutrality means that I am not attached to any specific idea or perspective, and that I pass no judgment on what is said. This skill is closely associated with compassion and can be developed over time. Neutrality is not a constant state of being (and I don?t give up all my own ideas and opinions, permanently) ? it?s only an attitude that I can take on as a facilitator, in favour of creating a safe space for dialogue.    78 Abrielle? Suddenly it?s really easy for me to see why so many people are disengaged and why nothing gets done (laughing in the middle of tears). This sense of despair and hopelessness? that is probably how a lot of the people in the community feel, people who are supposed to be leaders, you know, I can see why they rather stay home and not step up. And maybe this is why the teenagers are disengaged too: they feel powerless in the face of what?s happening in the community. (More weeping.)  And then immediately, there is a part of me that kind of wants to fight this feeling and say, ?well, you know, this is just not a very useful way to think? ? I kind of sense this big battle inside me between the emotional side that is feeling these feelings of despair and wanting to stay home, and the intellectual side which says ?if none of us do anything nothing will ever change?! Coach? So just go into that argument in yourself between the rational side and the emotional side.41 If you could argue the rational side, what would it say?  Abrielle? (after a pause, thinking) The rational side says: basically the reason the world doesn?t change is that people have given up. And I am tired of everybody being so down on the possibility of change! And this is my biggest fear of being in a university setting: everybody is so into the criticizing ? the planning journals and dissertations are full of analysis of processes and plans that were never good enough but they never have any workable solutions to offer. I think I have never read an academic paper that actually praises a planning process! And so if we believe them, we get paralyzed. Nothing can ever be good enough.  This is what makes universities useless (chuckling). And I just think, that the mindset of being hopeful or having some kind of belief that things can be different is what we need for things to actually change. And I want to put myself in that mindset. I think I have the ability to put myself in that mindset and a lot of people that I really look up to are working from that place of optimism and being positive. I mean, it might be kind of na?ve to think we can make change despite all the odds? But it almost reminds me of that fridge magnet quotes ?Given the choice, isn?t it always better to believe in magic?? I want to believe in magic! Coach? Uhum. Great. Anything else from this side? The rational side? Abrielle? No, I don?t think so.  Coach? And from the emotional side now, what would the emotional side say?  Abrielle? I don?t even know that it says very much, but it feels sober. Maybe it says: look, this is the reality of the situation. There is this community here that is going to be impossible for you to help. The reality of it is, there is a reason these problems have stuck around for so long. Who are you to think you can fix things? And that maybe the academics are right: the situation is too complex and no intervention will be good enough. And also, why bother trying to work here, when you could do something much simpler (laughing)? Just go interview some people like everybody else does and write it up and get your dissertation! (pause) And also, I have this feeling that I should be                                                         41 As mentioned in a previous footnote, the Deep Democracy argument takes place between two sides  or two positions. In this case both positions are within myself and I am going to speak from one, then the other. Once all the arguments from each side have been spoken, I will reflect on what insights emerge.    79 emotionally together at this point in my life, not just for my own sake but also for the baby (voice shaking). I should not be throwing myself into these much bigger issues. I want to withdraw from the complicated stuff and make sure my son is safe. Coach? Anything else from this side?  Abrielle? (Sighing) Something is also coming up about my friend Xenia here. I feel that if I withdraw from this project and not bother doing this work, then she can go back to doing the day-to-day administrative work of her job and then she will be more comfortable. She can tune out, and just put her head down and work. She doesn?t have to face the despair of the situation with me. Coach? Anything else from either side?  Abrielle? (Sighing) One more thing from the rational side: this is exactly how I want to raise this baby, actually. To expose him to the realities of the world and to give him the message that things can change and he can be part of change. More than any other time in my life I want to be in a place of feeling hopeful, because now that I have a child it?s not okay that the world is so fucked up? things have to change ? for him (weeping).  Coach? (After a pause) So now, if you think back at what the two sides said, what struck you or surprised you? What are the grains of truth?  Abrielle? (Pause) What strikes me also is that I have an overwhelming feeling that the rational side wins that argument! (laughing) Coach? Uhum, and what?s the biggest realization that comes from arguing the rational side? Abrielle?I think it?s something about not wanting to recreate academic systems or mindsets that are limiting. I really want to see myself as not playing into that.  I am pretty clear about that? I want to be part of some kind of magic.  Coach? So the grain is ?I don?t want to be part of this almost critical fatalistic view that nothing can be done, I want to have a view of hope that something can be done?. (Abrielle nodding). And how are you feeling now?  Abrielle? I feel more clear. I think I am where I am meant to be. Coach? And what does your grain tell you in terms of how you have to be if you?re going to do this work? Abrielle? That I need to keep connected with the other people, the people I look up to who are working from a place of hope. Because those are the nourishing connections that are going to make it possible for me to go on.   Coach? Uhum.  And I want to add something here and if it doesn?t fit please throw it out the window. But in terms of the lesson that this group has taught you, it was that they are going to learn, but that their style and their method of learning is not going to be the way that you predicted them to be. And I think you will discover that the way they see things is actually going to be an eye opener for you: you cannot have a rigid expectation when you come into a community like this, with a different culture and history. You meant to teach them some tools, and maybe they didn?t learn it in the way you expected,    80 but they experienced something and they got something from it. And maybe you need to be open minded about what it means to give something here, to be helpful in this community.  Abrielle? Yeah, that fits really well.  Coach? And how does it feel now, does it feel complete?  Abrielle? Yeah, I think so. Coach? Well, I am going to suggest that we leave it here and know that this feeling that you?re feeling now will allow you to be more empathic and compassionate to this group. And to go into your next session with this feeling, plus what you originally wanted to do I think will be very helpful.  Abrielle? Yeah, it will.  Coach? Please know that I am proud of you and I think you?re learning a lot in the process. And I?ll speak with you again at our next scheduled time unless you need me before that. Abrielle? Thanks, Myrna42.                                                         42 As I proceeded with my fieldwork, I decided to work with the teenagers separately from the adults. My discomfort around silence and lack of participation eventually lessened and meeting became more engaging and successful. I continued to struggle with my tendency for despair and hopelessness as you will see in upcoming stories.  The idea of a youth council, which had excited us so much during the session, never got off the ground ? apparently because the ?kid champion? left the community. But the dreams for the community hall and the basketball courts became a reality. The process of renovating the hall was highly participatory, as we had envisioned it together in our session.  Some interesting things happened in the realm of governance too. The band manager put in place some changes into the council meeting procedures that increased its effectiveness significantly. A new band council, voted in earlier in 2012, is seen as being more accountable to the community. Meanwhile, the community members seem to have become more engaged, and less blaming of the leadership. During one of my last trips I witnessed community members waiting for up to six hours for quorum at an all-band meeting to vote on proposals to spend the band?s money on culture and youth recreation. (Both proposals passed).     81   Illustration 5: GN Nations Yo! News (11/09/2010)     82      83 2.5. Something is resonating  [Act 1, Scene 1] (Abrielle, Ravenna, Hanane and Xenia at the dinner table eating fish and mashed potatoes.) Abrielle? Hey, do you want me to take my baby back? I?m almost done my meal. Ravenna (bouncing Ocean up and down on her knee)? No dude, we?re good buddies now. Abrielle (smiling)? Thank you so much for staying with him so I could run the workshop. Ravenna? Of course! It was a pleasure.  But I won?t lie, I also feel like I missed out on some juicy stuff.  Hanane? It?s true, you kind of did! It was a fascinating session. Xenia? It was very interesting. It was a tough session ? which it always is with community members! And the more I think about it the more I appreciate some of what you did Abrielle... I know that you have already debriefed it to death, but I have a couple of questions about your facilitation, if you don?t mind going back into that. Abrielle? Oh sure, yes, tell me! Xenia? Ummm, well, what I thought was cool was that you seemed to have all these tools and techniques and exercises ? and you would kind of decide on the spot what you were going to use. I haven?t really seen that before ? cause usually I see facilitators come in and they have a set of activities designed for the session and they have an agenda printed up that says ?this is what we are going to do for the next 3 hours?, broken down for every 15 minutes, you know? You didn?t seem to be working that way.  Abrielle ? Well, I did have an idea for how the session was going to go, like a basic program design that we talked about before hand? Xenia? Right, right, but you seemed to abandon it almost immediately! Hanane ? Based on what we found in the room and the actual dynamics of what unfolded. Abrielle? Yes, sure.  Ravenna? I would guess that what you probably saw, which is quite characteristic of Deep Democracy practitioners and quite rare to see in other facilitator types, is the display of neutrality.  Xenia? Tell me more about that ? ?neutrality?. Ravenna? Well, it?s actually quite a controversial concept in the facilitation, mediation field (Kolb and associates, 1997).  Basically, to be neutral means that you as facilitator don?t have a bias towards any specific ideas or truths (that?s called content-neutrality), or towards any specific meeting procedures or outcomes (that?s called process-   84 neutrality). Now, There are many people who think that it?s not appropriate ? because they think facilitators should actively work towards something, like agreement or justice or whatever (e.g. Susskind cited in Kolb and Associates, 1997, p.310). And there are many others who think it?s not feasible ?because they say, no matter how hard you try to deny your biases you will always have them (e.g. Rogers cited in LeBaron 2002, p. 302). In Deep Democracy we take a very particular view on neutrality, which is that neutrality is not so much a letting-go of one?s identity or bias or even one?s larger agenda (like justice, or peace-making), but as a temporary and complete suspension of judgment, so that we can make a different kind of conversation, and different kinds of solutions to problems possible. So we intentionally let go of any attachment to both outcomes and process design, and instead take our cues for what to do entirely from the group involved in the conversation.    Xenia? Sounds hard! Hanane? It?s hard! And in reality, we all lose our neutrality when we are working, and then we try really hard to get it back, and then we lose it again and then try really hard to get it back again. Xenia? Okay, fair enough. But what I am still wondering, I guess, is how you make your decisions from that neutral place. Like, how do you figure out when to adjust or abandon the exercise, and what dynamics to pick up on and what exactly to say? Cause it looks almost like magic! I mean, you seemed to do it intuitively Abrielle. And you?re obviously very intuitive? Is that what?s needed to be able to facilitate this way? Abrielle (thinking for a while, others watching) ? Hmmm. It?s interesting to me that you call it intuition. Cause I really don?t see it as intuition.  Xenia? No? Abrielle? No, not really. I see it more as ?I?ve learned the ropes? and when I am neutral and not getting in my own way, I can just see quite clearly what needs to be done? It kind of reminds me actually, of when I first had Ocean. (She looks over at the small boy who is happily pumping his legs and making little sounds in Ravenna?s arms.) For the first few months I felt like shit because I kept thinking that I should have this intuitive way of knowing what to do with him? and I just didn?t. I felt like I didn?t have the mothers? instinct that I was supposed to have. And I was totally in despair about it? and then, somewhere around three or four months into it, I suddenly began to feel like my motherly instincts ?turned on? like a switch. I would suddenly get a sense of what was going on with him and I would know what to do about it. It wasn?t that I suddenly became intuitive, it was that I learned to read the subtle signals in Ocean?s behaviour, in his facial expressions, in how he moves his body, the kinds of cries he makes. The signals were subtle and invisible to everybody else who hadn?t been staring at my baby for four months! But to me they were obvious.  Hanane? Like, you had learned enough about him to recognize a signal when you saw it, and know what it meant. Abrielle? Yeah, exactly. I don?t think there is some kind of magical intuitive power that you get born with. I think you just learn it like a skill.    85 Xenia? Interesting.  Ravenna? Well, and I would say that what you describe is one definition of intuition, which is intuition as a form of acquired knowledge, the way Aristotle talked about it (the others nod).  Abrielle? Yeah. I wonder how other facilitators think about this? Ravenna? It?s pretty rare that facilitators talk or write specifically about intuition. I can think of one, Linda Colburn, who says that working intuitively means reading the nonverbal, psychological and spiritual cues and acting on them (cited in LeBaron, 2002 and in Kolb and Associates, 1997), which is inline with what you?re describing, right? Abrielle? Yes. I see it as the reading of nonverbal cues: participants? body language, tone of voice, my own emotional signals, my own body symptoms etc. And also I see it as reading the verbal cues that others don?t always pay attention to: ideas that cycle in the group and keep being repeated, statements that stand out and make us uncomfortable, things that we stay silent on. I?m reading these cues and I am literally learning from them about how I should be adjusting what I do. Xenia? Uhum (nodding).  Hanane? So, if we take this conversation back to what you did in the workshop, what were you reading, what were you learning and how were you adjusting? Abrielle? Well, right at the very start, the fact that the teenagers didn?t check in was a signal. I right away began to suspect that having a voice and not having a voice is a tension. So the first thing I did was slow down the pace to see if that would help bring quiet voices out. It didn?t and I got more cues about disengagement from the body language of the teenagers ?sleeping in their chairs and lying on the floor. So then I changed techniques and tried the Soft Shoe Shuffle to see if I could get them engaged. Again, I couldn?t? Hanane? And that was obvious again from the body language and the way the teenagers were standing on the outside?  Abrielle ? Yes. So I was learning that the voicelessness and disengagement cannot be addressed superficially ? they are not about how fast the meeting is going or about whether we are sitting in chairs or not, they are about something more fundamental. So I changed techniques again and tried the decision-making process, and I think that finally shifted things, because finally the teenagers (and others) were given a voice in whether or not they wanted to be there in the first place, which was a more fundamental question. Once we got over that, then they got a lot more engaged.  Xenia? Uhum. So you?re basically looking and listening for the cues, you?re learning from them, you?re making little adjustments like changing the pace, or you?re trying a new form or technique ? and then you keep looking and listening to see if it?s working or if you need to adjust again. Abrielle? Yeah, its something like that. That?s how you follow the energy of the group.     86 (Abrielle now takes Ocean from Ravenna who has been rocking and keeping him happy during the conversation. Xenia and Hanane clear off the table as Ravenna opens up her computer.) Ravenna? Well, you should be glad to know that there is positive FaceBook gossip about your workshop. Abrielle (as she smiles and plays with Ocean)? Really? What are people saying? Ravenna ? ?I enjoyed the workshop held recently re: ?Deep Democracy? and highly recommend it to others here in the community. We have a real opportunity here.? With a link to the DD website. Hanane? That?s nice! Ravenna ? Then someone comments ?Thank you for posting this website, very interesting, and neat that Port Hardy is listed as a location for courses!? Abrielle? Sweet! Ravenna? Hmmm, this is interesting. Someone else comments on the link: ?This is great stuff. Reminiscent of the principles within Potlatch Law and Kwakwaka?wakw culture.? ? What do you think that means, Xenia? Xenia? I?m not sure exactly. (Looks at the computer screen) Hmmm. The comment is made by one of our community members who lives out in Vancouver, I think.  Ravenna? ?principles within Potlatch Law and Kwakwaka?wakw culture? Xenia? ? maybe he just means that it is very participatory. That everyone has a voice and everyone is seen to have wisdom. Ravenna? This who thing is really interesting to me, actually. I mean, you know the workshop was what it was, and in some ways it worked and in some ways it didn?t work ? but my general impression is that Deep Democracy is really resonating in this community. Would you agree? Xenia? Yeah, I think it is landing. Ravenna? Why do you think that is? (A silence as they all think about it.) Xenia? Well, I think that the approach to facilitation that we?ve just been talking about resonate very well here. Cause if there is one thing that community members can?t stand it is outsiders who come here with a heavy-handed agenda and with goals and deliverables that they stick to at all costs ? because they are required by some program or funding agency. We?ve just seen so much of that, and your approach is pretty well the opposite. And it sounds to me like Deep Democracy is really giving you a kind of model and platform to be in service of the community in a very natural and organic way. I think people could already sense that in the first hour of the workshop ? even if they couldn?t tell you it was called Deep Democracy. (Nodding around the table and more thinking as Abrielle now walks around the room with Ocean trying to put him to sleep.)    87 Hanane? I tend to think that one important thing we have in our favour is the iceberg metaphor ? and more generally, that the concepts of Deep Democracy have been translated into such clear and accessible metaphors. People just connect with the language we are speaking. I must say I wasn?t really sure about the iceberg metaphor to describe the collective conscious and unconscious in the context of this community? because it?s not like community members here have ever seen an iceberg, and hardly anybody would be familiar with the Freudian or Jungian use of that term. And I was remembering our DD colleagues in Kenya who had to start talking about an anthill instead of an iceberg because the African communities just have no concept of what an iceberg is! (Georgina Veldhorst and Fred Witteveen, Deep Democracy practitioners, pers. comm.) But for whatever reason it seemed to resonate here.  Xenia? Yeah, I think the concept of water level is very familiar to people here, and especially the metaphor of the fish under the waterline made a lot of sense. In the break people were joking that we?ve got so many fish under the water in this community that we?ve got to go get the gillnets to catch them all!  I felt like they were resonating so strongly with the content of the workshop that they were even making the metaphors their own. Hanane? Even the story of the king and the peasants who eventually become terrorists seemed to resonate a lot, especially with the teenagers. Imagine if we had tried to talk about authority figures and authority-resisters without using that metaphor ? or a metaphor like it. I just don?t think we would have got the same response. I think the central concept of Deep Democracy are very well packaged in these metaphors and that?s a real strength of what we?re working with.  (More nodding around the room.) Ravenna? The other thing that I have always appreciated about Deep Democracy is that it has these? what can I call them? ?Accelerators? and ?decelerators?? What I mean is, there is an appreciation for the value of diving under the waterline, for accelerating the process of saying the things we don?t typically say, and there are specific tools for cutting deep into the issues we?re talking about ? the argument and amplification being the most obvious ones? But at the same time there is a real respect for whether and/or how and/or how quickly people want to go there. So, even as we are about to go into a deeper conversation about something, we slow down and do a lot of work with the group to see if it is ready to go there and what every individual needs to be able to go there safely. There is no ?throwing the people in the deep end?, no making people dive without their permission. Instead there is a lot of respect for wisdom of the edges and of edge behaviour.  Abrielle? That?s true. It?s quite a different approach from a lot of ?therapeutic? or ?self development? or ?conscious raising? workshops I have taken when you are literally thrown into this powerful processes, whether you want to go there or not. And if you resist you?re made to feel like you?re a wuss or something! Ravenna? Or into artistic processes, right? Like, you suddenly find yourself uncovering something really serious through movement or sound or imagery that you really weren?t ready for, and that can be more traumatizing in itself.     88 Hanane? Yes, I think without that respect for safety, and without those ?decelerators? that you?re talking about, facilitators can do violence to people they work with. And Deep Democracy has the most explicit decelerators I have seen in any methodology. Xenia? And those are particularly important here because there is so much trauma and so much pain, and people are sensitive to that kind of tendency for violence and re-traumatization. So yes, the fact that you?re consciously creating that safe space and respecting whether people want to dive or not is probably really important. (They all consider this.  Abrielle now covers a sleeping Ocean in a blanket and lays him down on the couch.) Abrielle? I think you guys have probably nailed it ? and I have another thought which may be a bit of a stretch? but I keep wondering if Deep Democracy actually resonates at a philosophical level with Indigenous worldviews more than most other facilitation techniques.  Hanane? How do you mean? Abrielle? Well, to put it most simply, Deep Democracy is influenced by the Eastern religions. Mindell drew extensively from Taoism, and Myrna too is quite inspired by Buddhism? and I wonder if these worldviews are actually quite close to the Indigenous worldviews.  Hanane? Hmmm. You remind me? I think there is a theory that North America?s native people actually came from Asia at some point and brought the Asian worldview to their nomadic life here? (Ross, 1974, p.xxxi) Isn?t that true? Ravenna? Yeah, that is the thinking. It?s an interesting idea you?ve got there Abrielle ? although it?s hard to see how the philosophical underpinnings of the methodology would be responsible for the connection here, because the philosophical underpinnings are implicit in the way we practice Deep Democracy, but we don?t explicitly talk about them in an introductory workshop. Abrielle? Yes, yes. That?s why I am saying this may be a bit of a stretch? Ravenna? But maybe you?re right, maybe people just pick up on the similarities at a subtle, even unconscious level. Maybe that?s why this guy on FaceBook is comparing DD to ancient Kwakwaka?wakw principles? Hanane? So wait, what are you talking about when you say philosophical underpinnings? Abrielle? I was thinking, for example, about the idea of the collective unconscious, which is central to DD. It comes from Jung but has never been 100% accepted in the mainstream Western view of psychology ? it has remained on the margins. But that belief in the collective unconscious is not so far away from the Indigenous belief in a kind of metaphysical realm that surfaces through dreams and prayers and visions and ceremonial rituals (Cardinal 2001 and Ermine 1999 both cited in Kovach, 2009, p.57), which are exactly the channels Jung was using to access the collective unconscious. Another example would be the idea of the Tao, and the idea of following the Tao as the most central concept in Mindell?s process work and also in DD (Mindell, 1985). And in    89 some ways Tao is very close to the concept of a sacred but invisible energy source that is talked about in Indigenous cultures (Cajete, 1999; Cardinal and Hildebrandt, 2000; Little Bear, 2000 all cited in Kovach, 2009, p.57). Another similarity might be a basic belief in a ?yin and yang? model ? the belief that the world is made up of opposites forces that are to be embraced. Indigenous stories are often about that: how winter gives summer its definition, how darkness is important for appreciating the light, how evil is necessary in the world, how opposition is essential to understanding wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty (Borrows, 2010). The opposites are there to engage with, to help us make our decisions, not to scare us away ? exactly the way we think of them in Deep Democracy. And I mean, I don?t know a lot about these things but from my rudimentary readings, there appear to be some central parallels.  Ravenna ? Yes, I think you might be onto something. At the very least I think people in a community like this are less likely to resist Deep Democracy because it doesn?t have the Western worldview stench that Indigenous people can instinctively smell from a mile away! (The silently consider all this for a few minutes.) Hanane? Whatever the reason, I am so relieved our stuff is resonating here.  Abrielle and Ravenna (simultaneously)? Me too! Abrielle? I just don?t know how I would survive if this wasn?t the case.  Xenia (laughing) ? You guys are funny.  I want to say, ?I told you so!?, but I won?t! Let?s just eat more crabapple jelly...     90 2.6. Illusions of helpless heroines  [Abrielle?s story]43 I?ve always been told, about working in remote Aboriginal communities, that one day you arrive on location, your schedule of activities in hand, and there has been a death in the community, and everything is shut down, and you might as well throw your entire schedule out the window, knowing you probably will get nothing done.  This is that day.  I fly in with Ocean, make it in despite the stormy skies and several planes stuck in even stormier locations. The darkness above our heads appropriately matches the solemn air on the ground among community members. The person who has died, I soon gather, was a young man with a history of substance abuse. This time he did not survive the overdose. While he was in the hospital, his sixteen-year-old sister was also brought in for alcohol poisoning. She had her stomach pumped, then crawled in next to him, and he made her promise she would never drink again, before he died.   I never met the young man, but the sixteen-year-old is one of the girls I am working with. She is clever and confident, speaks in a matter-of-fact kind of way, and carries my baby around on her hip with more skill than I do. I meet with her and her friends in the bubble of their classroom to talk about life and their thoughts for their future, but what is there to talk about?! This is her reality: She lives in a place where death is in many ways more prominent than life itself. She has lost too many family members and friends to suicide, addiction, disease, house fires... And she is constantly at risk herself. Thinking about her today sends a shiver up my spine. Next to her I know nothing of death. Sure, I have lived through the passing of grandparents and great-grandparents, but their passing happened at a ripe old age and in far away places. I didn?t even travel for their funerals. I wouldn?t know what it is like to lose someone who is not supposed to die yet. My academic training tells me that I have rank and status compared to this                                                         43 Based on a supervision call with Myrna Lewis, Oct 2011. Both Abrielle?s and Ravenna?s metaphors emerged as part of the same session for me. I have separated them out here for further exploration.     91 young girl  ? because of my skin colour, education, class, age? Still, I feel completely out-ranked by her. I am na?ve and clueless next to her. She has amassed more psychological rank by nature of what she has lived through, than I can ever hope for through my attempts at psychic growth and spiritual development44.   As I think about my work here I fill up with fear. If I lose one of the young people half way through the project, I don?t know what I will do. How can I go on with my ?research?, knowing we were in the middle of a conversation that could have saved a person?s life but didn?t (if I had thought of the right thing to say, if I