On July 30, 2012, the Law & Order Committee of the Navajo Nation
Council unanimously approved the Peacemaking Program’s plan of
operations that sets forth the Program’s new traditional services,
which are extensive.
The Peacemaking Program plan of operation clarifies the roles of
the program and the courts and incorporates new enacted laws such
as the Alchíní bi Beehaz'áanii and the Vulnerable Adult Protection
The provisions of the new Plan of Operations reverse several
decades in which peacemaking has fundamentally changed as a result
of efforts to institutionalize peacemaking. The Program will
now strive to fully develop peacemaking in Diné communities.
The new plan reinforces the independence of the peacemakers,
clarifies the goal of peacemaking and reiterates the need for the
traditional components to be distinct and separate from
court-style processes. It replaces the Peacemaking Guidelines
established in 2004.
Peacemaking Program has also recently been awarded $73,497 from
the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice
Assistance Grant for the “Juvenile Dependency, Diversion and
Alternative Sentencing Peacemaking Project.” This means that
peacemaker fees for services addressing family preservation and
juvenile accountability can be paid for indigent individuals and
families so long as funds are available.
The award will fund peacemaker fees for the Program’s extended
range of services that include
family group conferencing), and life value engagements in which
peacemakers sit with individuals or groups to help them confront
problems and reach hozho with clarity and permanence.
The recent developments make it possible for the Program to
finally fulfill its mandate under 7 N.N.C.
409-413, which include conforming procedures of
to traditional concepts; to support peacemakers in the community,
and to provide education on Diné culture traditions.
The Program will be working hard to publicize the new services and
the availability of grant funding for peacemaker fees.
-- August 2, 2012