Talking circles are a traditional way in the Mi'kmaq culture to solve problems. Talking circles allow people to express themselves in an open and welcoming environment.
When you enter the talking circle you go into an opening in the east. When you enter the opening in the circle you walk in a clockwise direction to find a seat. When everyone has been seated, the opening is closed to join the circle of people together. In this ceremony, once the people have settled in, the leader explains what is to take place. Usually a Talking Stick (pictured above), a feather, a stone or some item that has significance is passed around in a clockwise direction from one person to the next beginning with the leader who is now holding the sacred symbol as he explains. Only the person who is holding the talking stick is permitted to speak, everyone else listens attentively. By listening to the speaker it shows a sign of respect, and this eliminates the chaos that is created by everyone trying to speak at the same time.