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Navajo Nation Peacemaking: Living Traditional Justice


Navajo Nation Peacemaking: Living Traditional Justice Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Navajo peacemaking is one of the most renowned restorative justice programs in the world. Neither mediation nor alternative dispute resolution, it has been called a “horizontal system of justice” because all participants are treated as equals with the purpose of preserving ongoing relationships and restoring harmony among involved parties. In peacemaking there is no coercion, and there are no “sides.” No one is labeled the offender or the victim, the plaintiff or the defendant. This is a book about peacemaking as it exists in the Navajo Nation today, describing its origins, history, context, and contributions with an eye toward sharing knowledge between Navajo and European-based criminal justice systems. It provides practitioners with information about important aspects of peacemaking—such as structure, procedures, and outcomes—that will be useful for them as they work with the Navajo courts and the peacemakers. It also offers outsiders the first one-volume overview of this traditional form of justice. The collection comprises insights of individuals who have served within the Navajo Judicial Branch, voices that authoritatively reflect peacemaking from an insiders point of view. It also features an article by Justice Sandra Day OConnor and includes contributions from other scholars who, with the cooperation of the Navajo Nation, have worked to bring a comparative perspective to peacemaking research. In addition, some chapters describe the personal journey through which peacemaking takes the parties in a dispute, demonstrating that its purpose is not to fulfill some abstract notion of Justice but to restore harmony so that the participants are returned to good relations. Navajo Nation Peacemaking seeks to promote both peacemaking and Navajo common law development. By establishing the foundations of the Navajo way of natural justice and offering a vision for its future, it shows that there are many lessons offered by Navajo peacemaking for those who want to approach old problems in sensible new ways.

Book News Annotation:

Participants in and researchers of the Navajo Nation justice system explain that peacemaking is a form of conflict resolution that is rooted in Navajo culture and practice, and how it has been modified to take into account present-day issues and resources. It can be practiced as a way of life or serve simply as an alternative to the court process, they say, but is not mediation or alternative dispute resolution. They look at history and concepts and practices, and offer analyses and assessments and conclusions. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Marianne O. Nielsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. She is the editor, with Robert A. Silverman, of Native Americans, Crime, and Justice and Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Criminal Justice. James W. Zion is a private jurisconsult who lives in Albuquerque, researching and writing on Indian court matters, traditional Indian law, and Indian Country justice initiatives. An Adjunct Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University, he was Solicitor to the Courts of the Navajo Nation from 1981 through 1983 and 1991 through 2001.

Product Details

Nielsen, Marianne O.
Zion, James W.
Nielsen, Marianne O.
Zion, James W.
Nielsen, Marianne O.
Zion, James W.
University of Arizona Press
Legal History
Justice, administration of
Dispute resolution (law)
Ethnic Studies - Native American Studies
Government - U.S. Government
Navajo courts.
Navajo law.
Native American Studies, Law
Politics-United States Politics
Native American Studies
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » Native American » Southwest
History and Social Science » Politics » General

Navajo Nation Peacemaking: Living Traditional Justice New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages University of Arizona Press - English 9780816524716 Reviews:
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