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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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The Problem of Justice

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Bruce G. MillerUniversity of British Columbia, USA

ISBN13: 9780803282759
ISBN: 0803282753
Published: July 2004
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Format: Paperback
Price: £12.99

For the indigenous peoples of North America, the history of colonialism has often meant a distortion of history, even, in some cases, a loss or distorted sense of their own Native practices of justice. How contemporary Native communities have dealt quite differently with this dilemma - to very different effect - is the subject of this work, an ethnographic study of indigenous peoples struggling to re-establish control over justice in the face of conflicting external and internal pressures.;The text focuses on the Coast Salish communities along the northwest coast of North America: the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe in Washington State, the Stolo Nation in British Columbia, and the South Island Tribal Council on Vancouver Island. Here we see how, despite their common heritage and close ties, each of these communities has taken a different direction in understanding and establishing a system of tribal justice - assigning elders different roles in administering laws, setting different objectives, and offering different readings of the ""traditional"" cultural basis of tribal justice. Describing the results -from the steadily expanding independence and jurisdiction of the Upper Skagit Court to the collapse of the South Island Justice Project - Bruce G. Miller advances an ethnographically informed, comparative and historically-based understanding of aboriginal justice and the particular dilemmas tribal leaders and community members face. His work makes the case for an indigenous sovereignty associated with tribally controlled justice programmes that recognize diversity and at the same time allow for internal dissent.

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