|Pechanga's Lawrence Madariaga|
Died While Disenrolled - Too Late for Justice
Is restorative justice what's needed to heal the wounds, salve the pain and bring honor back to tribes that have harmed over 11,000 Native Americans over the last decade?
The theory of restorative justice is from the criminal arena. While tribal disenrollment in many cases is not illegal, in some cases it runs contrary to tribal constitutions, or against tribal laws.
CRIME based theory of Restorative Justice
Restorative justice views crime as more than breaking the law – it also causes harm to people, relationships, and the community. So a just response must address those harms as well as the wrongdoing. If the parties are willing, the best way to do this is to help them meet to discuss those harms and how to about bring resolution. Other approaches are available if they are unable or unwilling to meet. Sometimes those meetings lead to transformational changes in their lives. (OP: Bringing the people home, where they belong would certainly be transformational especially for those elders that have not DWD (died while disenrolled)
Tribal Disenrollment and Restorative Justice
The four pillars of Restorative Justice are:
Inclusion of all parties -
Can the tribal councils be convinced the restoring disenrolled members is good for the tribe, the community, and the aggrieved party?
Encountering the other side -
Former council members who disenrolled my family can't look me in the eye, but I can look them in the eye. I don't think the disenrolled would be uncomfortable in the encounter at all, can the same be said for those in power.
Making amends for the harm -
Apologies aren't enough,exept possibly for the dead. All rights should be restored, and damages mitigated. Some may balk at the costs, but doing the right thing is never the wrong thing.
Reintegration of the parties into their communities -
Elders should be welcome at all functions they were denied, children allowed back in the tribal schools they were forced from. voting rights restored, and the families restored in the tribal rolls and history.
When you look at the four pillars, NONE are impossible to build with and achieve the strong tribal foundation that inclusive and just. We've seen the successes at the Enterprise Rancheria and the Robinson Rancheria. It CAN HAPPEN, when we look to get the parties together for the greater good.
NOW, how do we make it happen? Many thanks to the Center for Justice and Reconciliation for the article.