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The Navajo Response to Crime

Yazzie, Robert
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Justice as Healing 3 (2).

Yazzie, writing as Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation, describes basic principles and practices of a traditional Navajo response to crime and relates them to restorative justice. For example, in the Navajo perspective an offender is one who shows little regard for right relationships. The traditional response to an offense is “to talk the problem out with respect” in a conference with the offender and his or her relatives, and the victim and his or her relatives. Others from the community may also participate. A respected “peacemaker” (something like a mediator) conducts the process.


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