This is the first of many articles to come regarding the realm of Peacemaking Circles.
The Peacemaking Circle (PMC) system was introduced in the late 1980’s and continued for many years until the concept evolved into something tangible. Anna Jack was the first PMC Administrator to meet with Council to obtain approval to forage ahead with the new PMC system for youth.
Early on, all elders on the reservation were considered Peacemakers because they would have the knowledge for healing. Today, there are much fewer active elders in the Peacemaking Circle sessions in all communities.
Active Peacemakers are called Practitioners. Practitioners meet with a participant (client) to identify the participant’s problem or issue and proceed to focus on this issue until the participant and Practitioners determine it is resolved. Typically, there are three to four Practitioners who sit in on healing sessions with a participant. It takes several sessions to deal with a client problem or issue; some clients have been in the program voluntarily for over four years.
Any tribal member may self-refer for healing sessions. However, most referrals come from tribal court.
Until the next issue…
Yvonne Misiaszek, MSW