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Grant number like: HR-50046-04

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Sondra Leftoff
CUNY Research Foundation, John Jay College (New York, NY 10019-1007)

Faculty Research Awards
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2005 – 5/31/2006

History of Navajo Peacemaking

This project is to study the history of Navajo peacemaking during the period of colonization and as it has developed during the postcolonial period. Navajo peacemaking is a traditional, community based approach to resolving disputes which was driven underground when the federal government imposed an adversarial model as part of the policy of colonization of Native Americans. The use of peacemaking has now been formalized within the Navajo Nation judicial system as the Peacemaker Court. This court has become a model for other Native American communities as they develop their own approaches to legal sovereignty. This project is an attempt to document the history of the (re) construction of peacemaking within the postcolonial Navajo community through in-depth interviews with participants of the original Peacemaker Project and through an archival search for material on peacemaking during the period of colonization and before. The relevance of the project for postcolonial legal studies will be addressed.