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Grant number like: TR-250135-16

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Morris and Ruth B. Cowan Foundation (New York, NY 10025-7659)
Anne Makepeace (Project Director: January 2016 to present)

Media Projects Production
Public Programs

$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 12/31/2017

Tribal Justice

Production of a one-hour television documentary that examines the use of restorative justice in Native American communities as an alternative to incarceration.

Tribal Justice will be a 60-minute documentary for PBS featuring the innovative work of the chief judges in the two largest Native nations in California: Judge Abby Abinanti, chief judge of the Yurok Tribe on the northwest coast, and Claudette White, chief judge of the Quechan Tribe along the Arizona and Mexico borders. These judges embrace collaboration with state courts while drawing on traditional forms of remediation to reduce incarceration, foster greater safety in their communities, and create a more hopeful future for their youth. Rather than focusing on punishment and incarceration, they are working to keep tribal members out of jail and in the community by having them make reparations to those they have harmed, and enrolling them in carefully monitored programs where they can restore their lives. The film will follow court cases in both communities, placing these stories in the larger context of historical trauma and cultural revival, and modeling restorative justice in action