Grace Carson Examines Circle Peacemaking and Tribal Court Processes in Alaska

Grace Carson (’22), current Fellow with the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, coauthored an article for the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Magazine proposing hybrid approaches to conflict resolution respecting Indigenous practices of restorative justice and Alaska tribal courts (“There Is More to the Story — You May Think You Know What Is Going On with Circle Peacemaking, but Alaska Natives Have Other Ideas,” Feb. 14). “Alaska Natives highly value their tribal courts and their Circle process. . . . The tribes could separate their tribal court process from their Circle process and have their tribal court judges refer matters to Circles, with Circle generated written plans or agreements coming back to the tribal court to be approved by tribal court order. This would protect the relationship building/repairing space of the Circle and buttress the enforceability of related tribal court orders in the Alaska courts. . . . The state of Alaska and its courts should continue to recognize tribal sovereignty and to support tribal innovations in this area.”