Source: (1998) Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 14(1):42-57.

Although restorative justice principles served as the foundation for many Native American legal systems, contemporary tribal courts rely heavily on the laws and standards they received from European settlers. This trend is now being reversed as tribal courts have begun to rediscover their restorative roots and share them with non-Indians. In this article, a framework is developed for understanding the transformation of Native American legal systems from primarily restoration based to those that are more retribution oriented. A case study of the Navajo restorative justice system is presented to illustrate the framework, followed by a discussion of the future of restorative justice in Native American communities.