Source: (2009) Dissertation. Doctor of Philosophy. University of Colorado.

This study analyzed the use of aspects of Navajo peacemaking typically absent in Western models of restorative justice that were incorporated in the development and implementation of a hybrid accountability conference model of restorative justice for the University of Colorado at Boulder between 2004 and 2006. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the applied aspects of peacemaking and to interpret the function of personal narrative in the performance of the applied aspects of peacemaking as a facilitated group process. Data for the study were collected from student misdemeanor cases referred to the university’s restorative justice program over that time period and consisted of conference interaction, police reports, and program documents. The case studies presented suggest that the incorporated methods of Navajo peacemaking were effective in (a) allowing the facilitator to cross methodological boundaries of neutrality, (b) recognizing and addressing offenders’ personal issues during conferences, (c) representing victims’ stories of personal harm, and (d) highlighting the community’s standards of moral conduct. The findings, thus, confirm that key components of Navajo peacemaking are particularly appropriate for a university restorative justice program, compelling theorists and practitioners of restorative justice to reinvest in its tribal roots. The findings also showed that restoration, as a rhetorical concept, foregrounds the performative nature and function of storytelling in a facilitated group process, as well as reveals the performative nature of conducting first-person communication activism research.