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NCJ Number: NCJ 241020     Find in a Library
Title: Widening the Circle: Can Peacemaking Work Outside Of Tribal Communities?
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Robert V. Wolf
Corporate Author: Center for Court Innovation
United States of America
Date Published: 2012
Page Count: 17
  Annotation: Originally written as a guide for participants in a 1-day discussion among Indian tribal and State court practitioners and policymakers (2011) regarding lessons that State and tribal courts can learn from each other, this report provides an overview of “peacemaking” as used by Indian tribal courts, and raises practical questions for anyone interested in adapting peacemaking to non-tribal settings.
Abstract: “Peacemaking” is a traditional Native-American approach to justice. Unlike procedures in State and Federal courts, peacemaking was not shaped by case law or legislation. Rather, it evolved in various forms and among various tribes over generations in accordance with each tribe’s culture, religion, and collective life experience. Robert Yazzie, writing when he served as chief justice of the Navajo Supreme Court, described “peacemaking” as a horizontal system in which decisions and plans are made through consensus. The emphasis is on the future welfare of the community, not on legal consequences of past events. The focus is on the good of the community as well as the concerns of the individuals most directly involved. A peacemaking session is guided by one or more peacemakers, who are usually elders, respected members of the community familiar with tribal culture, tradition, religion, and community norms. They use lectures and storytelling to assist participants in reaching an outcome that benefits not only the disputants but the whole community. Practices similar to peacemaking have already been implemented in non-Indian justice systems. “Restorative justice” strategies are less formal, support greater degrees of disputant control over the process, and are concerned to some extent with restoring relationships among the involved parties. By highlighting key issues in “peacemaking,” this paper provides policymakers and planners with a basic understanding of peacemaking and the questions to ask in adapting the approach to local needs and circumstances. 45 notes
Main Term(s): Community crime prevention programs
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution ; Cultural influences ; Dispute processing ; Dispute Settlement/Resolution ; BJA grant-related documents ; Community Courts ; Tribal Courts ; Restorative Justice
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2009-IC-BX-K002
Sale Source: Center for Court Innovation
520 Eighth Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10018
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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