Source: (2006) In, Ross, Jeffrey Ian and Gould, Larry, editors, Native Americans and the Criminal Justice System, Paradigm Publisher, Boulder, London. pp.3-14

The study of law, justice and criminal justice issues in Indian Country is complex and laden with cultural economic, emotional, political and social undertones that are bound in a deeply rooted historical context. In order to understand the relationship between the Native American and the US criminal justice system (typically law enforcement, courts, corrections and juvenile justice) it is necessary to appreciate the complexities of the European approach to deviance, justice, and social control. In short, the European system rests on punishment and retribution, whereas the Native American more often relies on cooperation and consensus building. One must also recognize the changing Native American responses to these processes, both before and after their contact with Europeans. (excerpt)