Passionate about the power of experiential education, Shannon has designed and led dynamic hands-on workshops, retreats and training courses for over twenty years. Every program is customized to fit the group and the setting, from camps to classrooms to conferences; from kindergarteners to elders. Shannon specializes in creating safe and inclusive spaces that allow participants to go as deep as they choose in exploring topics such as forgiveness, justice, reconciliation and healing, mental health, grief, healthy communication, as well as writing. Tears are honoured, laughter is ensured!
Upcoming workshops and programs
The F-Word: Exploring Forgiveness
Alberta F-Word retreat participants consider quotes from philosophers, poets and peacemakers
Shannon offers customized “F-Word: Exploring Forgiveness" programs for people and communities who are ready to move forward and transform trauma and conflict into peace and a positive future. She excels in creating safe and inclusive spaces for people of all ages to explore what forgiveness means—and doesn’t mean—in their lives. She also consults with non-profit groups, employers, community groups and schools interested in restorative solutions to repairing harm and building peace.
Whether run as a half- or full-day workshop or as a three to five day retreat, the "F-Word" program features experiential activities that incorporate art, craft and dialogue to connect people to their stories and to each other in support and confidentiality. Everyone's culture, beliefs and experience are respected. People leave feeling renewed and empowered, with tools to take the next step on their journey.
“Exploring forgiveness opened my mind and heart, and gave me the skills to transform past hurt into a positive future. I now have a relationship with my father that I never thought I would have. My whole life is different, and I’m grateful.”
— Miriam, youth participant, LOVE (Leave Out Violence) Leadership Camp
Forgiveness Workshops and Retreats
Mar 2019 • Enderby, BC • Forgiveness workshop for Community Justice Association, Splatsin First Nation
Jan 2019 • Yellowknife & Fort Smith, NWT • On-the-land women’s retreats, in partnership with Yellowknife Women’s Society
Nov 2018 • Nelson, BC • Restorative Justice volunteer training, Nelson Police Department
Nov 2017 • Ottawa, ON • National Restorative Justice Symposium workshop
Aug 2017 • Paulatuk, NWT • Week-long on-the-land retreat for residential school trauma survivors, in partnership with Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC)
Apr 2017 • Ulukhaktok and Aklavik, NWT • Experiential youth wellness programs
Jan 2017 • Oshawa, ON • 3-evening workshop for families of people in the criminal justice system
F-Word retreat closing ceremony, Reindeer Station, NWT, Feb 2016
Aug 2017 • Inuvik, NWT • Aurora College and East 3 Secondary School workshops
Oct 2016 • Aklavik, NWT • 2-day workshop for frontline service providers, in partnership with IRC
Sep 2016 • Reindeer Station, NWT • 3-day retreat for residential school trauma survivors, in partnership with IRC
Aug 2016 • Reindeer Station, NWT • 7-day family camp for residential school trauma survivors, in partnership with IRC
Feb 2016 • Reindeer Station, NWT • Two 3-day retreats for residential school trauma survivors, in partnership with IRC
Sep 2014 • Toronto, ON • Camp Widow workshop
Practicing emotional literacy with Inuvialuit children at family on-the-land camp, Reindeer Station, NWT, Aug 2016
Aug 2014 • Quyon, QC • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Annual Leadership Camp workshop
Oct 2013 • Orillia • Bereavement Ontario Network Annual Conference workshop
Aug 2013 • Haliburton, ON • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Annual Leadership Camp workshop
Aug 2012 • Haliburton, ON • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Annual Leadership Camp workshop
Nov 2010 • Owen Sound, ON • Owen Sound & Area Family YMCA, Justice Circles Program workshop
Aug 2010 • Haliburton, ON • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Annual Leadership Camp workshop
Mar 2010 • Toronto, ON • Peacebuilders International Conference workshop
Aug 2009 • Haliburton, ON • Leave Out Violence (LOVE) Annual Leadership Camp workshop
Writing What Hurts
Whether your goal is to publish, to document a journey, or to heal yourself, Shannon offers guidance and strategies that will help you take care of yourself and your manuscript while writing about trauma and difficult times. You bring your desire, ambition and passion, and Shannon brings her experience, expertise, resources and objectivity. Together, you'll create a plan to start and sustain your writing project. It's a team approach.
“Whether you are an established writer or someone who has always dreamed of writing your life story but haven't actually started yet, you will find Shannon's "Writing What Hurts" workshop inspiring, encouraging, and empowering. Shannon is an engaging, empathetic speaker who will guide you confidently through specific steps of your writing journey, with emphasis on how to tell your story without having to relive it and how to take care of yourself along the way.”
— Diane Schoemperlen, Author and Governor General's Award winner
Recounting doesn’t have to mean reliving.
Writing What Hurts workshops
May 2014 • Ajax, ON • Ontario Writers' Conference • Writing What Hurts: Recounting Without Reliving workshop
Sep 2013 • Kingston, ON • Kingston WritersFest • Writing What Hurts master class
Restorative Justice Training
Shannon is a trained restorative justice circle keeper and has facilitated several youth court diversion cases in Toronto as a volunteer with Peacebuilders International. She offers restorative justice training workshops for schools (K-12), universities, institutions and workplaces aiming to develop new polices and practices for dealing with conflict, as well as private case-specific consulting.
"I am forever changed in the way I will handle situations with my children, forever changed in the way I choose to look at others. It was a truly valuable experience for us all.”
— Christa Nesbitt, parent, St. Nicholas School
Restorative Justice Training Events
Sep 2014 • Waterloo, ON • St. Nicholas Catholic School Parent and Community Evening • RJ training workshop
Mar 2014 • Waterloo, ON • St. Nicholas Catholic School Restorative Practices and Peacebuilding Program • RJ training
Nov 2008 • Kitchener, ON • National Restorative Justice Conference • "Can Restorative Justice Be Used For Serious Crime?" workshop