Peacemaker Circle Purpose and Intent

According to our tribal narratives, our ancestors journeyed from a place of creation and settled on our traditional lands. During the journey, many problems formed and these became the basis of solving, methods of healing, progress, and achievement. The information and methods realized in this journey, become the data and information for use in the future journey. The information and methods became developed in the journey, became the knowledge and wisdom that became a part of our people and is now a procedure for understanding, problem resolution and healing.

The procedures that comprise our systems are: prayers, songs, drawings, and preparation and utilization of ritual objects. One process we now use is cooperative interaction (offerings, sharing and helping one another, celebrations of life, etc.), which is critical in all aspects and principles governing all of creation. This process becomes our ceremonial practice and peacemaking. The positive effect and healing nature of cooperative interaction among our people is a guiding principle of the peacemaker circle, hence, “Circle,” a living, healing justice system.

The circle is our intervention and healing method for our people when they become unbalanced, sick or dysfunctional and need help to heal, be safe, and live in peace with self and all creation. When this is accomplished it will benefit the offender, the victim, families, community, and tribes. Harmony and balance will be restored and healing will take place.

Our current journey resembles some of the troubles faced in our tribal people’s prior traditional and cultural journey as mentioned above.” Our contemporary troubles can be overcome when we begin to use our traditions and cultural ways to overcome the negative forces and regaining positive life through our Peacemaker Circles. We want to return to sound psychology, and a peaceful physical existence. We say this because we are survivors of many bad things within our past. We recall those experiences and what was perpetrated against us or between us. When we understand what, why, when, and how these things happened, we will gain appropriate knowledge and wisdom to use for our future healing and peace. We can turn the negatives into positives; we have the experience, the knowledge, the capacity and strength to do so.

The things which block our journey are: complacency, irresponsibility, laziness, alcoholism, domestic abuse, substance abuse, child neglect, lack of respect, gang influence, and other negative societal ills. These affect the people we see on a daily basis in our communities, in prison, in behavioral therapy, who are neglecting family, personal responsibility and daily functions.

The choice to use peacemaking is intended to promote healing, and provide a safe place for such healing to occur. It is also intended to be used as a way of promoting a united community effort for creating balance and harmony in a community.