Strengthening Systems and Organizations ~ Wabanaki Restorative Justice
We have held two of three regional events focused on Wabanaki Restorative Justice. In November at the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and in January at the Wabanaki Center in Calais, we offered the presentation: "The System is Broken: Native Americans, Mass Incarceration, and Restorative Justice" to members of the Micmac, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy communities and partner organizations that serve Wabanaki people. We had wonderfully engaging discussions focused on how to embed restorative practices into tribal communities and have exciting next steps outlined. Restorative justice is a way of being that focuses on relationships and resolving harm. Restorative practices recognize and acknowledge harm caused by crime and acts of wrongdoing and provide a different way to deal with the harm that is caused. Instead of focusing solely on the individual that caused the harm and how best to punish that person, restorative justice is focused on the victim that was harmed, the impacted community and ways to make things right. It is justice that promotes healing. The last event will be held at Penobscot Nation in March. Each of these events help build capacity for restorative justice practices that benefit Wabanaki people and fosters connections that will provide much needed support as our work moves forward. We are excited to join the growing restorative justice community in Maine.