Repair Circles

Repair Community Circles – When we sit in circles to listen, share stories, celebrate, problem solve, mourn, and make peace, we reclaim an essential, precious, sacred part of our humanity and our kinship with all life.

“Under the darkened pandemic sun, wild fires are burning us and the sparks of social justice are a blaze.”

Oyate Hotanin has assembled an independent and multi-cultural community group who have been affected by the inadequate systems of economics, education, health, and justice. We have worked intensively together to surface a human based response to social struggles big and small. Our work seeks to join hands, hearts, and minds with others to explore the possibilities offered by restorative practices which are re-infused with Dakota and Indigenous methods.

The restorative justice concept arose from Indigenous cultural practices and values. However, the dominant culture has shaped what has become the restorative justice profession, restricting the model’s use and approaching the practice through the lens of efficiency, rather than healing. This approach has weakened the larger healing effect of the model by eliminating Indigenous customs and traditions, thus limiting the scope and broader impact of the model and diluting its potential to become a tool to drive significant change.

Our Reparative Circles draw on previously untapped expertise and resources to create a solution that is truly focused on with healing and justice so that the model can be adapted for use within multiple systems, helping those negatively affected by the systems to heal, enabling true solutions to surface, and allowing the community to thrive. This model will improve how people in systems and organizations think about and frame solutions, using processes that center community and human needs and voices rather efficiencies and data to create more humane ways of being and acting.

Our team includes respected traditional Dakota healers as well as clinicians, lawyers, and other practitioners who combine a firmly-rooted cultural presence with a deep understanding of the current systems and how they functions as an instrument of social and political control for Native peoples, African Americans, and communities of color.