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Circle Justice: An Ethnographic Study

Elder Hanlon, Teresa J
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) M.A. thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

This thesis examine the presence of community in Blackfoot Justice Circles through ethnographic, qualitative methods. Five Blackfoot Justice Circles, observed in 1996-1997, and an Innu Healing Justice Circles, are compared in structure, roles and content. The Innu circle data is found as a report and recorded as an appendix to R. v. Sellon (1996). Seven in depth interviews held with circle leaders and prominent circle participants generated data used to describe and define current perception of traditional concepts among circles leaders on a Blackfoot reserve.
Theoretically the work arrives at a principle of justice according to a concept of authentic morality expressed through problem-solving and care. The principle is collectively based on the ideas and works of Menno Boldt, Herman Bianchi, Elliot Studt, John McKnight, Carol Lepannen Montgomery, John Braithwaite, Howard Zehr, and Ruth Morris as well as peacemaking concepts. The study explores transformative justice, as differentiated from restorative and retributive justice. Author’s abstract.


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