Navajo Peacemaking

1883 Words Nov 27th, 2010 8 Pages
CAV Paper - Navajo Peacemaking

Throughout Indian Country tribes have their own courts to address legal matters. However, the Navajo Nation has a court system that stands apart from other tribes. Howard L. Brown Esq. wrote, “The Navajo Nation’s Peacemaker Division: An Integrated Community-Based Dispute Resolution Forum” which was published in the American Indian Law Review 1999-2000 issue and was reprinted in the May/July 2002 issue of Dispute Resolution Journal. As a former judicial law clerk for the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation, Brown gained firsthand experience with the Peacemaker Division within the Navajo Nation’s Judicial Branch. He details the history, development and ceremonies associated with this resolution forum. Two
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While talking things out family and community members will explain to the offender how they have violated tradition and failed to fulfill the expectation of their role as a family or community member and how it has impacted them. Brown’s description of the peacemaking process is similar to Pinto’s which is illustrated via a table comparing three model’s of dispute resolution. The table clearly shows the importance of Navajo tradition in peacemaking and how it is reflected in each step of the process via a healing ceremony and focusing on restoring harmony to the community.[8] Pinto also includes three pages detailing the seven steps and components of the peacemaking process. The outline format makes the process easy to understand and reinforces many points brought up by the other two authors. Meyer describes the peacemaking process in terms similar to Brown and Pintos, but compares the Navajo process to other tribal resolution methods. Using the Ojibwe example of cleansing the spirits of offenders and victims of

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