"Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."  - Albert Einstein

About Peacemaking

Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to problem solving that focuses on healing and restoring relationships between parties in disagreement. It aims to improve the traditional courtroom experience in a process whereby everyone is part of a comprehensive solution. Parties meet in a circle with trained peacemakers.

 All members of the circle work together to reach a resolution through a collective process in order to avoid adversarial litigation and further deterioration of the relationship(s) between the parties. Because parties are able to feel heard and gain understanding of one another, relationships can begin to mend and heal. Watch a Peacemaking Video.


Are you interested in participating in Peacemaking? The link below provides a form for you to complete and submit to the Court. Upon receipt of your form, someone from the Court will contact you shortly.

Peacemaking Request Form: Am I a Candidate for Peacemaking? (PDF)

Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court and Community Partner Michigan Theater Bring Michigan Debut of Dawnland

Dawnland PanelPhoto provided courtesy of Cynthia Price, Legal News

On November 13th, 2018 panelists engage with the audience for nearly two hours after the Michigan debut of Dawnland. Dawnland documents the first governmental Truth and Reconciliation Hearing in the United States. It is a dual narrative of the work of Maine’s Commission and the communities and families who have been damaged by governmental policies of removal of their children. Commission member Sandy White Hawk, originally from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota was featured prominently in the film, led the Panel discussion with Peacemaking Court Judge Timothy Connors. Whitehawk is the award winning founder and director of First Nations Repatriation Institute.

“Colonization and our subsequent federal and state policies have been a process of dismembering: dismembering of community, dismembering of spirituality, dismembering of language, dismembering of culture. This is a beginning step of remembering, so that we do not continue to make the same mistakes from the past, but to instead take a path that learns from those mistakes. Only then can we ensure a better future for all of our children, all of our families, and all of our communities. It is also first step towards healing for those so deeply hurt by those mistakes. It is our individual and collective responsibility to assist, when asked to, in that healing process.” said Connors.

In the photo above seated from left to right, Sandy White hawk, Chief Judge Allie Maldanado of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Native American Anne McKeig, Choctaw tribal member and UM professor Bethany Hughes, Ojibway Tribal member Bradley Nedeau from the upper peninsula, Tribal member Anthony Davis and Cultural Resource Advisor for Little Traverse, Native American student at UM Samora Jackson, Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Timothy Connors.

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