Justice As Healing

Indigenous Ways

Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre

Edited by Wanda D. McCaslin

Foreword by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

Living Justice PressSoftcover, 459 pp., indexed, ISBN 978-0-9721886-1-6, publication 2005



Restorative justice traces its roots to Indigenous traditions world-wide, yet no book on justice presents Indigenous voices speaking directly about Indigenous ways of responding to harms and restoring harmony in relationships. Justice As Healing does just that. It is a collection of articles from the Justice As Healing newsletter produced by the Native Law Centre of Canada at the University of Saskatchewan. Drawing on a decade of writing on justice and on community-based, healing responses to conflicts and crimes, this substantive book features forty-five articles from community members, scholars, judges, lawyers, and Elders, most of whom are Indigenous.

Contributors include:

S. James Anaya, professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona and Associate Justice for the Court of Appeals of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

Edward Benton Banai, Wisconsin Ojibway of the Fish Clan and a spiritual teacher of the Lac Court Orielles Band of the Ojibway Tribe

George Blue Bird, Lakota language speaker, writer and artist

William Commanda, traditional Algonquin Elder from Kitigan Zibi, Quebec and respected spokesperson and spiritual leader at national and international gatherings

Erica-Irene A. Daes, Greek, chair of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations

James Sa’ke’j Youngblood Henderson, Chickasaw, a leading tribal philosopher, advocate, and strategist for North American Native Peoples

Ada Pecos Melton, enrolled member of the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico, president of the American Indian Development Associates

Ted Moses, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees and former Cree Ambassador to the United Nations

Nin Tomas, a senior Maori academic and member of the faculty of law at the University of Auckland

Edward C. Valandra, Sincangu Lakota, author and director of the Community for the Advancement of Native Studies

Chief Justice Robert Yazzie (retired) of the Supreme Court of the Navaho Nation

Reviews and Comments

“Well conceived and brilliantly written by people who know what they are talking about, Justice As Healing shows us that our responsibilities are not about control and supremacy but, rather, about how to value our lives and make them whole. This book is critical reading for the whole world of activists and scholars who are worried about the outcomes of brutal colonization or past centuries and want to act on their own most fundamental right to determine their own destinies.”

-—Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, eminent Native American scholar, poet, and activist; author of Anti-Indianism in Modern America: A Voice from Tatekeya’s Earth; enrolled member, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Fort Thompson, SD

“This exciting compilation is a landmark work . . . While the recent spate of restorative justice literature includes works focused on truth commissions in South America, Africa, and Europe in post-conflict contexts, few, if any, explore how we might apply reconciliatory justice in the context of historic and ongoing mass social harm here in North America. Justice As Healing is one of the first to initiate this extraordinary conversation.”

Fania E. Davis, Civil rights lawyer, activist, author, and speaker

“For too long, restorative justice has been primarily articulated and interpreted by Anglos (like me). For too long, Indigenous understandings of justice have been interpreted by outsiders. For far too long the justice discourse has been dominated by the majority culture. Justice as Healing begins to right the balance through a chorus of voices from within Indigenous communities in North America and New Zealand: eloquent voices that, despite their diversity, present a remarkable coherence.”

Howard Zehr, Co-director, Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University; author of Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice and The Little Book of Restorative Justice.

Cultural Survival Quarterly, June 2006, Reviewed by Gloria Bletter

Tribal College Journal, Volume 18, No. 1, Fall 2006, reviewed by Michael Thompson

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