Michael Lapsley’s international visit

    From March 20 to 30, 2024, we will host the official visit of Michael Lapsley, anti-apartheid activist, peacemaker and founder of the Institute for the Healing of Memories in South Africa.

    The Center for Restorative Justice Services has been a partner of the Healing Memories Institute in South Africa, founded by Michael Lapsley since 2016. As part of this partnership, the Memory Healing Institute has certified 5 facilitators in Quebec. The CSJR has organized 12 Memory Healing workshops in partnership with the IHOM and has already had the privilege of hosting Michael Lapsley on 5 occasions, in Montreal.

    Originally from New Zealand, he moved to South Africa as a young Anglican priest at the age of 24. There he discovered the dark reality of apartheid. Horrified by the injustice of this regime, Michael Lapsley became actively involved in the fight against racial segregation. He received death threats, being considered an enemy of the apartheid regime. In exile in Lesotho, he became chaplain to the African National Congress, the political party for the defense of black rights led by Nelson Mandela.

    Michael Lapsley’s activism from abroad did not go unnoticed. In 1990, in Zimbabwe, he received a letter bomb that cost him an eye and both hands. Despite this profound handicap, Michael Lapsley proved resilient and emerged from the attack more determined than ever to act for justice and peace. He returned to South Africa to testify at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1995-1996). From then on, he will help people affected by apartheid to overcome their traumas by talking and sharing.

    This work led him, in 1998, to found the Institute for the Healing of Memories. The workshops developed by Michael Lapsley have enabled thousands of people to move forward on the path to peace and healing. They are now offered in many countries around the world. Find out more about the Memory Healing workshops here.

    This year, the CSJR is organizing the visit of Michael Lapsley in order to offer for the first time in Quebec the workshop Healing Memories Phase II – What to do with your anger? How to overcome hatred? How to approach forgiveness? – available to participants of the last 12 Phase I workshops. Its aim is to continue the personal journey begun during the Phase I workshop.

    This second workshop, already fully booked, will take place on March 23 in Trois-Rivières and will welcome 35 participants. During this visit, our 5 facilitators will also be trained by Michael Lapsley to deliver Phase II of this workshop in Quebec. He will then continue his North American tour by visiting Nunavik, the United States and Hawaii. His visit to Nunavik is scheduled for March 30 to April 5, 2024, to lead a Healing Memories workshop and several exchanges in Kuujjuaq and Salluit, in collaboration with Inuit Values and Inuit Heath.

    During his visit to Quebec, public and private events will be organized with CSJR partners. We will be announcing the program for his visit shortly. Stay tuned to attend one of our events and meet this inspiring figure, Michael Lapsley.

    This project is made possible thanks to the support of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, to whom we extend our warmest thanks. Michael Lapsley will also be meeting members of First Nations and Inuit communities during this visit.

    Register for the next Healing of Memory workshop

    Each and every one of us has a life story to tell. And every story needs to be heard by someone. The Healing Memories workshop offers an opportunity to explore and acknowledge the emotional wounds we carry on an individual and collective level (family, community and country). We all carry a backpack full of stones, big or small, so let’s give ourselves the opportunity to lighten it.

    • When will it take place ? Friday December 8 to 10, 2023 
    • Where ? In Nicolet, QC from Friday 5pm to Sunday 3pm – carpooling possible 
    • Cost: Thanks to private donations, the CSJR is able to offer the workshop at a reduced cost (suggested cost: $485, accommodation included). But please contribute to what you can. We won’t turn anyone away for financial reasons. 
    • Note: Translation from French to English might be possible during the workshop, but please note that a minimum of French understanding is required to participate in this workshop.

    ==> More information on the workshop, by clicking here

    June 23rd to 25th : Healing of Memories workshop

    Each of us has a story, a life journey to tell. And every story needs someone to hear it. The Healing Memories workshop provides an opportunity to explore and acknowledge the emotional wounds we carry on individual and collective levels (family, community and nation).

    • When ? June 23-25, 2023
    • Where ? in Granby Friday June 23rd at 5 p.m. until Sunday June 25th at 3 p.m
    • Suggested cost:
      • $485 for the weekend (accommodation + workshop)

    The actual cost of the workshop is $450 + accommodation ($235) but thanks to the financial support, we are able to offer the workshop at a reduced cost.

    It is also possible to contribute according to your income. We will not refuse anyone for financial reasons.

    For more information on the workshop

    • Language

    Translation from French to English might be possible during the workshop, but please note that a minimum of French understanding is required to participate in this workshop. 

    Collective Trauma  

    For several years now, the CSJR has been exploring different ways to address the complexity of collective trauma: a coffee chat #metoo in 2017, a meeting on indoctrination and racism in 2018, and talking circles for the expropriated people of Mirabel in 2020. 
    This year, funded by Fonds d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (FAVAC), the CSJR is developing two pilot projects to implement a restorative justice approach adapted to the specificity of collective trauma: 

    • (1) on hate crimes and hate incidents;  
    • (2) relating to sexual violence  

    These pilot projects will be built according to an inductive, creative and participative methodology. Moreover, we invite participants to share their views in a spirit of co-construction according to the needs that emerged during our meetings.  

    What do we mean by collective trauma? 

    Collective trauma is different from individual trauma because it is directly linked to social, political or historical structures. In order to be able to work in a restorative justice context, we consider collective trauma as the consequence of an act carried out by one or more people or institutions that directly or indirectly affects a group (e.g. expropriated people of Mirabel), or for what it represents as an identity marker (e.g. the attack on the Mosque of Quebec), chronically (e.g. feminicides) or intergenerationally (e.g. colonialism-racism).   

    We therefore exclude accidental events, natural climatic, geological or epidemic causes in these pilot projects. 

    Restorative justice or transformative justice? 

    See the video explaining restorative justice according to the CSJR (in French)

    In these pilot projects, we wish to support a process of transformation of communities affected by violence by engaging the participants in a space of dialogue. We will address violence without violence, beyond polarization, stigmatization or punishment, without downplaying and minimizing its scope or consequences. We hope to develop the necessary capacities as a society to fight and act concretely, to build and (re)invent, together.  
    The process invites the participants into an exploratory and engaging space. It is different from a support or therapy approach. The participants put their experience at the service of the collective and transform their individual suffering into civic engagement. A process by individuals, for a new collective future. It is different from a traditional restorative justice approach. 

    Our vision in pictures (under construction) 

    Credit: Marie-Ève D’amour, L’ilôt coop 

    For all questions related to group trauma projects, please contact Cloé at

    Last news about the project:


    Meeting on Seeds of Restorative Justice between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous People

    From May 27 to 29, 2022, 23 peoples from the Atikamekw community and 23 non-Indigenous people met in Trois-Rivières for the “Germe de justice réparatrice” (translates to Seeds of Restorative Justice) meeting. The weekend built in the spirit of restorative justice was conceived and organized by the CSJR and the Atikamekw community, with the financial support of Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). 

    Participants experienced strong moments of sharing, in truth and with humility, on personal stories but also on the wounds of the past (e.g. abuse in residential schools, child abduction, colonization) and those of today (e.g. racism, exploitation, non-respect). We had the opportunity to bond and empower each other during a ritual that was co-created together but we also enjoyed times of communion, joy and friendship. It was a weekend rich in emotions shared in intensity that wove bonds between us. 

    We did not come out of this meeting the same. Several people testified to share their profound transformations. We agreed to answer the call to continue to walk together, in the spirit of restorative justice that was strenghtened during this weekend. 

    • Discover the article by Matthieu Lavigne who participated in this meeting published in Le Quotidien: here 
    • Discover this meeting in pictures : 

    Participate in our next art exhibition !

    Share your work with us !

    During the Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2022 (May 15 to 21, 2022), we offer a new art exhibition entitled Crossroads of Life – My Life, My Story.

    The aim of this project is to allow the expression of what can be hard to put in words, and to raise awareness about restorative justice as well as the path of victims of crime through a universal language, the art.

    40 selected artworks will be exhibited in the online art gallery, Gallea for a one-month period from May 15 to 21, 2022. If conditions permitted, ten or so works will then be selected for an exhibition on site in Montreal.

    • For who ? People or groups who have been affected by situations of abuse and violence, directly or indirectly. We invite you to share your artwork : paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, poetry, etc. No need to be professional!
    • How to participate? Complete the call for entries before April 18, 2022.

    Let your voice be heard to inspire others and contribute to public awareness.

    Do you need help or you have more questions? Write to

    If you want to learn more about Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2022, click here.

    The project is financed by Justice Canada and supported by the Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes and the Centre d’aide aux Victimes d’Actes Criminels. We thank them warmly.

    Contribute to restorative justice!

    Each year, the CSJR accompanies about 250 people affected by violence (victims, perpetrators and community members) to find ways of healing together through restorative justice, thanks to restorative justice meetings and workshops.

    In 2021, we adapted many of our services to the pandemic context, offering them online, which enabled us to reach people in remote areas (memory healing workshops, TransfoLab, training, awareness-raising, art therapy workshops and an exhibition of art works created by people who have been victims, etc.). Support was also offered by telephone, such as to women in prison.

    We have reached 600 students in universities and CEGEPs and have increased awareness of restorative justice among several thousands of people, thanks to our activities and media presence, but also our Facebook page.

    In 2022, please help us to reduce our waiting lists, make our services accessible to more people and allow for restorative justice to become a community resilience tool for both individual and collective trauma.

    All this will be possible thanks to your generosity.

    To join us in our mission to transform lives and our communities, donate today

    Restorative justice is a process of dialogue and sharing of experiences in a group setting that promotes individual healing and the repair of social bonds broken by violence.

    The CSJR has a charity number. You can therefore receive a donation receipt for tax purposes for any amount over $20.

    → To make a donation:

    • by Interac transfer
    • by cheque payable to the CSJR at the following address: 7333 rue Saint-Denis, Montréal (QC) H2R 2E5
    • via PayPal (click on Donate on our website)

    → Discover on our website the testimonials of people who have suffered or committed a crime, and from community members who have accompanied these restorative justice processes.

    See the video for this campaign (only in French).

    Exhibition “Crossroads of Life – My Life, My Story”

    The call for entries has started! Send in your creations by October 22 to participate in the Victims and Survivors of Crime Week exhibition.

    With the Gallea online art gallery, the CSJR invites you to share your creations (paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, prints, poetry, slam…). No need to be a professional artist. Don’t hesitate!

    Your story and your creative process can inspire others and will contribute to raising awareness.

    The call for entries is on the Gallea website.

    If you need help to create your profile on Gallea and upload your photo and presentation of your work, contact us at

    The exhibition will be held online from mid-November to the end of the year.

    Please note that an event will be organized on Friday, November 19th, starting at 5:30 pm, in a bistro in Montreal. More information to come.
    This exhibition is possible by the funding of Justice Canada.

Centre de services de justice réparatrice | 7333 rue Saint Denis, Montréal Qc H2R2E5 | 514 933-3737 | 

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