Facilitated Conversations

World Café™ Sample: Kinship

Total Time: Approx. 3 hours

Suitable for: Group Activity | Facilitator-led Activity

The following is a modification of the World Café™ method.

World Café™ can be adapted for use with any Walking Together topic area.

Participants develop an understanding of First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives of kinship with one another and the universe. In open-ended conversations, participants focus on increasing their knowledge about family and kinship networks and applying that knowledge in their professional practice.

Prepare the World Café™ setting as described in Fact Sheet: World Café™.

World Café™: Visit 1

Time: Approx. 90 minutes

Common Beginning Ask participants to complete the Beginning Together interactive in Kinship before coming to the World Café™. Suggest participants consider these key questions: What is kinship? In your family? In your community?

Video and Discussion(30 minutes) As a group, watch the video in the Respecting Wisdom section of the late Métis Elder Marge Friedel. She shares memories of growing up at Lac Ste. Anne, called Spirit Lake by the Cree because the spirit of the water has healing powers. Untouched by residential schools, she experienced a strong cultural upbringing in a big extended family

Reflection: Think about what Marge Friedel said in the video. 

  • What sort of kinship exists?
  • What questions did it raise about kinship?
  • What questions do we need to ask ourselves about family and kinship in our school or classroom?

After viewing the video, the group is led through a debriefing to start a discussion about family and kinship in the school or organization and about taking the next steps for building on family and kinship between the school and First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities.

Conversation (20 minutes) Ask participants to draw, doodle and write on the tablecloth key understandings from answering the above questions.

Exploration (20 minutes) Based on table conversations, are there common questions or discussions that took place? Are there specific questions of interest?  (The facilitator records these common items for display.)

Group the questions or discussion ideas at each table. Identify those that are specific questions of interest.

Consider these questions to build collective insights:

  • What aspects of family were discussed at your current table; e.g., language, beliefs, spirituality, the Catholic Church, leadership, sacred stories, role models, teachers, grandmothers?
  • Did you think beyond the obvious differences to what makes each and every one of our families and kinship networks unique?
  • What do your families value in their family life? This may be as simple as the family meeting every summer, or hunting or fishing together, or visiting a senior, or the role of grandmothers in their family.

Harvesting Discoveries (20 minutes) During your conversations, what impacts (barriers or opportunities) surfaced regarding family and kinship in your school or classroom? Record and highlight these items on your table paper. After 10 minutes, members move to another table to form new conversation groups. One member may stay to act as a host for the new group.

World Café™: Visit 2

Time: Approx. 90 minutes

View Video (30 minutes) Wahkohtowin: The Relationship between Cree People and Natural Law. Wahkohtowin means “everything is related.” It is one of the basic principles of Cree natural law. This video is a cultural education tool for understanding Cree natural law from a Cree perspective. Traditionally laws are transmitted in Cree song, prayer and storytelling. Cree Elders explain that by following the teachings of Wahkohtowin, individuals, communities and societies will be healthier.

Conversation (30 minutes) Record what the group members believe could impact the school or classroom. Ask participants to draw, doodle or write key concepts on the tablecloth. Participants move every ten minutes during the time allotted. One member may stay to act as a host for the new members at the table.

Action Planning (30 minutes) To ensure that First Nation, Métis and Inuit children and youth have the opportunity to be successful in our schools, ask participants to consider these questions:

  • How do participants see the concepts in the video evident in their classroom and the school?
  • Which of these impacts (barriers) should we address immediately?
  • Which of these impacts (opportunities) should we explore immediately?
  • Who should be consulted in order to address these barriers or explore opportunities?
  • Who from our group will contact the individuals or groups we would like to involve?

Conversation (30 minutes) Discuss at tables (10 minutes) and share recommendations with the larger group (20 minutes). As a larger group, identify these two challenges: the single most significant barrier to be addressed and the greatest opportunity for success. These challenges will be explored in the next phase of the action planning.

Closing Activity Explain to participants that facilitators will invite as many identified individuals as possible to attend the next World Café™. A summary of the ideas from the World Café™ will be provided to each participant so that they have background knowledge of what was accomplished. During the next World Café™, participants will draw on their experiences and expertise to design an implementation process to ensure that First Nation, Métis and Inuit children and youth are successful in our schools.

World Café™: Visit 3

Time: Varies

Plan to host another World Café™ with the identified guests to formulate an implementation strategy.