FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Absolutely not! Prevention is a powerful tool. Not only can the Tribal Court be used for services such as dispute resolution, interventions, and mediation- it’s encouraged!
No. The Tribal Court is open to all community members.
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dAXunhyuu. Tribal Court
The Native Village of Eyak Tribal Court is a restorative justice court system that using traditional methods to resolve issues. Established in 2006 with the original Judicial Code signed in 2014, the Tribal Court utilizes traditional practices used for centuries and applies them to modern issues.
Traditional Tribal Court
The current court system consists of a pool of 5 traditionally trained judges as well as a court administrator to oversee day-to-day activities. There are 1-3 Judges in each hearing depending on the type of court.
The most commonly used form of court is Traditional Peacekeeping Circles or “Talking Circles”. As the name implies, Talking Circles use traditional methods to address the roots of issues rather than just the symptoms. The process involves the individual, their loved ones, a Judge, the Circle Facilitator, and community members when appropriate, coming together to participate in three overarching rounds.
The first round is to discuss the incident that occurred so that participants have a better understanding of the situation.
The second round allows people to ask questions. Questions don’t necessarily have to be related to the event that took place, they can also just be to get a greater understanding of the person’s life, hobbies, interests, etc.
The final round is to develop an Action Plan. The Action Plan is tailored specifically to the incident and the individual with an emphasis on at least some portion relying on playing to the person’s strengths or interests. One of the key components of Talking Circles is that the individual has an active say in their plan which increases accountability, but also assists in the healing process.
The other form of court utilized by the NVE is a 3-panel system. The 3-panel system reflects more of a “Western” style court system and is only used for cases pertaining to child welfare.
The Native Village of Eyak partners with multiple state and local agencies to develop creative solutions for an assortment of community issues. Our two largest partners are the Alaska Court System and the Department of Juvenile Justice. We accept individuals for both full diversion programs as well as sentencing recommendations under Criminal Rule 11(I). Our goal is to break the cycle of recidivism and resolve the core issues rather than just address the behavior associated with it.
We also accept petitions from community organizations to act as a local preventative service provider.
The Tribal Court is open to ALL members of the community and individuals do not need to be in legal trouble to utilize the court.
To learn more about diversion programs and what additional services the court can provide, please contact the Tribal Court Administrator at 907-424-7738 or email@example.com.