Lateral Violence Workshop Held for SFN Staff

Nov. 6/15

What is lateral violence?  Lateral violence refers to acts that occur between co-workers or community members, where bullying is described as acts committed by one and occur over time. The acts can be hidden or open acts of verbal or non-verbal aggression. Relational aggression is a type of bullying characterized by psychological abuse.

Lateral Violence has impacted Indigenous peoples throughout the world to the point of where we are hurting each other in our communities and workplaces on a daily basis. 

This workshop, facilitated by Rod Jeffries of Ancestral Visions, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, discussed the origins of lateral violence; the relationship between historic trauma, trauma, grief, oppression, colonization, residential schools, shame and lateral violence; how it manifests itself in our communities and workplaces; impact of lateral violence on workplace morale and team work; and how we can stop the harm it creates in our communities and workplaces. 

The session focused on strategy development for preventing/stopping lateral violence. 

Topics included: 

· recognition and understanding of personal roles in lateral violence;

· addressing lateral violence in the workplace and community in a healthy way;

· the role of traditional values in preventing & stopping lateral violence and

· maintaining wellness in an unhealthy environment. 


Emphasis was placed on educating others on lateral violence and ideas for preventing lateral violence in the community and workplace. 

All participants learned to understand lateral violence; their role in workplace or community lateral violence; and issues underlying the lateral violence.

They brainstormed and discussed ideas and strategies for preventing/stopping community/workplace lateral violence and how to maintain wellness in a laterally violent community/workplace.

The interesting and helpful session was attended by all staff.