Prevention. Intervention. Respect.
Tipis in a field

Kake Peacemaking Circle

Peacemaking Circle

The Kake Peacemaking Circle intervenes in state court cases for violations such as underage drinking, and domestic violence, leading to the healing of the Kake community and significant reduction in suicide.

"The Circle Peacemaking process intervenes in State Court cases in violations such as underage drinking, and domestic violence, and it enforces accountability. This has led to the healing of the Kake community and an end to suicide. The Circle Peacemaking works where the criminal justice system has failed. The evidence is in the success rate of the Circle. In 2001, all 24 youth with violations of underage drinking completed the terms of their sentences. Out of 80 who were referred to the circle, only two chose to return to the criminal justice system. The Circle Peacemaking is not an impersonal, but a deeply personal justice system that depends upon and promotes the interconnectedness of a compact and culturally whole village. The successes of Kake Circle Peacemaking rely on the village's determination to understand and utilize its most salient characteristics as strengths (Kake Circle Peacemaking, 2005). The Kake Circle Peacemaking is open to both Natives and non-Natives of the community. In his 1999 report to the state legislator, the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court referred to the Circle Peacemaking as an example of local initiative for greater community responsibility and effectiveness with local people. (Rieger, 2001)."

A summary of circle peacemaking in justice systems indicates that:

“Few studies have been done on the effectiveness of sentencing circles and those have shown generally positive results. In the Minnesota study, respondents noted the stronger connectedness of people in the community as an important feature of the sentencing circle. For the most part, the process is seen as fair in that it allows each person to have a voice and to work together in finding a solution. Reservations related to the length of the process and the need for better preparation of participants. In general,

the process has been viewed as a good way of building relationships and strengthening the community.” Retrieved from:

A discussion of the Kake Peacemaking Circle’s efforts may be found here:


Tribally created
  • Child
  • Community
  • Family
  • Conviction of a violent crime (in a non-Tribal court)
  • Exposure to conflict or violence (family or otherwise)
  • History of child abuse and neglect/Use of corporal punishment
  • Lack of access to prenatal support/Lack of social or parental pregnancy support
  • Low self esteem
  • Parental temperament
  • Social isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Community support when faced with challenges
  • Involvement in positive activities
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Parental self-esteem
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Relational skills
  • Safe community focus
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-regulation skills
  • Community food/good nutrition
  • Connecting with cultural resources
  • Cultural identity/sense of belonging to cultural group
  • Cultural teachings
  • Ethnic pride/self-esteem
  • Expressing Native identity
  • Personal capacities
  • Support (family, friends, community)/interdependence
  • Agent
  • Resource