July 17th, 2023
Community Circles is the practice of sitting in a circle as a group to discuss an event, issue, or dilemma. This seemingly unmeaningful interaction of people has ancient roots and continues to be employed by Indigenous communities across the globe in various spiritual practices and ceremonies. The First Nations describes circles as sacred and their people “observe that the circle is a dominant symbol in nature and has come to represent wholeness, completion, and the cycles of life (including the cycle of human communication).” It allows each member of a group or community to see all its members, and no one is in a position of power.
It gives us the power to identify with peers and express ourselves openly and freely, helping build trust and respect within our communities. To be a safe space for diversity and inclusivity. Reminding us that we are all connected through our journeys in life and allowing us to share stories of success and struggle. It helps us foster active listening and speaking skills with each other. Community circles are to be supportive, nonjudgmental, respectful, and approachable for all members.
5 tips for Community Circles
- Find a safe space for all members to be comfortable and to see and hear each other clearly
- Define a purpose or a topic for the members to focus on
- Use a talking stick or ball to ensure all members has time to speak and for others to actively listen
- Allow different members of the group to begin discussions or lead questions
- Embrace technology when online and use the digital tools available to you to engage with members