Indigenous Approaches


Restorative practices, such as community-building circles, can be linked to many cultures across the globe. Additionally, there are also near universal applications to restorative practices that stem from indigenous traditions and values:

  • Circle practices have a positive nature to them and are constructive in building one another up and are designed for healing.
  • The collective aspect of circle practices is important in communities taking back the narrative of what is occurring in their communities.
  • Community-building circles serve decolonization through the shared alignment in storytelling, celebrating survival, remembering, and connecting.

Other key elements emphasized about restorative justice include:

  • An emphasis on ceremonial or ritualistic protocol
  • Recognition of the interconnectedness of all life on earth
  • Vulnerability
  • The courage of choosing to speak or remain silent
  • Oral history
  • Offering the transformational power of honesty

"Consonant with African and other Indigenous communitarian values, restorative justice is profoundly relational and emphasizes bringing together everyone affected by wrongdoing to address needs and responsibilities and to heal the harm to relationships and community, to the degree possible. While often mistakenly considered only a reactive response to harm, restorative justice is also a proactive relational strategy to create a culture of connectivity where all members of a community thrive and feel valued.

Indigenous refers to beings, worldviews, values, ways of life, and ways of knowing engendered from and belonging to a land that existed before the conquista and colonization."

— Davis, 2019, p. 19-21