Building Bridges :
Through Understanding the Village©

During this experiential workshop participants explore their own, personal role in supporting the revival of the values that worked so beautifully in indigenous villages for thousands of years. As a group, we also explore in‐depth the effects of Residential Schools and Canada’s Policy of Assimilation on Indigenous communities.

This workshop is geared to solutions rather than recrimination and is a great forum in which to ask questions. Participants in these often emotion-provoking workshop experiences comment that while they understood a bit about the issue on a cognitive level, after participation in Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village© they understand on a deep emotional level as well. The workshop is done from a non-blame and non‐shame perspective and invites all participants to become a part of the healing that IS already happening.

Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village©

Learning outcomes:


A cognitive and emotional understanding of traditional First Nations values


A deep and emotional insight into the depth and intergenerational effects of Colonization.


Methods for creating supportive relationships in a positive way.

Important note for workshop hosts:

Prior to the workshop, participants need to understand that we will be addressing Residential School and its effects in an in‐depth way. Participation may trigger unresolved grief and loss issues for some. It is imperative that participants know that in advance and have an understanding that coming to the workshop is not mandatory; it is their choice. It is also recommended that options to access support after the workshop are provided. Please arrange to have chairs in a circle (nothing inside the circle.)

Please note Village Workshops are copyrighted. The Village©️ workshops should NOT be replicated or misappropriated. Facilitating may appear easy and it may be tempting to recreate versions of Village workshops by changing the stories slightly, etc. However, safety during these experiential workshops is a priority and it requires specialized and extensive education, training and years of Elder mentorship and guidance. The work (inspired by Jann Derrick’s Circle and the Box and the input of many, dear Elders who mentored and guided me) came to be through my own healing journey, and I have woven together that personal journey and the journey of healing of those I have worked with and walked beside during my 24 years of Counselling residential school survivors and their children and grandchildren. These boundaries have been set to maintain the integrity of the work.

About The Facilitator

Kathi Camilleri


I created and facilitate the Building Bridges through Understanding the Village © workshop to increase cultural competency for organizations across Canada.

I have almost 25 years of leadership experience in facilitating, counseling, developing, directing and coordinating Aboriginal community-based programs. I have facilitated and managed culturally-based strategic planning sessions, conflict resolution and counseling strategies for groups and individuals, developed community workshops to create understanding and support for families who are experiencing the generational effects of the trauma of residential schools, and I have developed networking circles to bring service providers together and to increase cultural competency.

My work has been inspired by Jann Derrick’s teachings of ‘The Circle and The Box’ along with the input and teachings of many, dear Elders who often co-facilitate with me. I have certificates in Re-enactment Therapy for Trauma Survivors, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Trauma, and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and hold a Master of Arts in Leadership. My thesis, Returning Home to the Values of the Village focused on the revival of culturally-based values in order to increase collaboration among staff within an Aboriginal service-providing agency.


“Chi Miigwetch, great thanks to you, Kathi, and all of the elders and organizers for delivering this amazing workshop. There was so much love, support, and wisdom in the room that it felt like an incredibly safe space to examine trauma and emotions around the impacts of colonization on our lives and families. I have been talking to many people all week about my experiences there”

“It was a deeply moving experience, and I can see that it is an incredible tool for education and healing.”


To learn more about Kathi or the workshops, or to book a workshop for your organization, please contact Kathi directly by email or phone.