Source: (2004) In Catherine Bell and David Kahane, eds, Intercultural Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Pp. 280-297.

While ADR is a relatively new phenomenon in Western legal systems, dispute resolution techniques have been used by Aboriginal people in North America for millennia. In recent years, as dispute resolution has been adopted into contemporary legal systems, there has been a growing interest in traditional Aboriginal dispute resolution, especially in the area of criminal law. There has been comparatively less development toward applying Aboriginal dispute resolution in private, civil disputes involving Aboriginal peoples. In this chapter, we will fist discuss traditional Aboriginal approaches to dispute resolution as well as other traditional dispute resolution programs that are working in combination with contemporary legal systems. We will then examine the work of the Canadian Bar Association Task Force on the Systems of Civil Justice and the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, both of which are concerned with improving the civil justice systems in Canada. In this context, we will consider the opportunities that exist today to enable the incorporation of traditional Aboriginal dispute resolution into our civil justice systems. (excerpt)