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SILC students present Circles of Peace to tribal courts

May 16, 2016 - Tamara Williams

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SILC student attorneys use Circles of Peace as a form of restorative justice focusing on healing and wellness.

SILC student attorneys use Circles of Peace as a form of restorative justice focusing on healing and wellness.

Students in the law school’s Southwest Indian Law Clinic (SILC) have made a number of presentations about the work they are doing in Clinic to tribal courts throughout New Mexico.

The presentations explain Circles of Peace, a process of Peacemaking and Tribal Restorative Justice developed under the direction of Visiting Professor Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks (Alaska Native, Tlingit-Tsimpshian).

Fairbanks is supervising SILC while SILC Director Barbara Creel is on sabbatical.

“The SILC student attorneys as peacemakers have been shifting justice from an adversarial system to one of healing and wellness,” says Fairbanks.

Following are some of the recent presentations given by 3L students participating in Clinic:

  • Philip Hunteman and Kathryn Lash spoke about the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Full Faith and Credit Clause at the Tribal State Consortium at Pueblo of Tesuque
  • E.J. John gave a presentation on ICWA and Historical Trauma at Isleta Pueblo
  • E.J. John, Nikki Alex, Concetta Tsosie de Haro and Diego Urbina presented on Peace Circles and ICWA at Isleta Resort.
  • E.J. John, Jeremy Martin and Diego Urbina presented  on Court-appointed special advocates at the Children’s Institute Training Casa
  • E.J. John, Concetta Tsosie de Haro, Rachel Felix, E.J. John and Kathryn Lash presented on ICWA and Peace Circles at the Conference Protecting the Native American Child in New Mexico
  • Kelly Gould, Brian Smith, Natalie Zerwekh, Rachel Felix,  and Kathryn Lash presented Peace Circles to the youth at the Butterfly Center at Taos Pueblo