Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Lance Peterson


Incarceration and recidivism throughout the United States is disproportionately high for marginalized persons, with Indigenous people experiencing nearly double the national rate for incarceration. The high rates for incarceration and recidivism reflect the ineffectiveness of the current judicial system being used in the United States. Pre-colonization, Indigenous people around the world approached justice through a restorative lens, rather than a retributive one. This Banded Dissertation focuses on restorative justice and its theoretical underpinnings, Indigenous roots of restorative justice, and more specifically, the traditional law practices of the Lakota people and the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Seven Council Fires). The Banded Dissertation consists of three scholarly products that focus on traditional, pre-colonial, Indigenous practices of law. The first product consists of a conceptual paper that offers definitions, values, theoretical underpinnings, and conceptual frameworks for restorative justice and its mechanisms, as well as offers an overview of Lakota values and a Lakota model for restorative justice. The second product consists of a cultural and postcolonial historiography that used a thematic analysis to identify ways in which Lakota people handled crime. The historiography was exploratory in nature and sought to provide an in-depth look at traditional law practices of the Lakota and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ people, as well as investigate whether Lakota values correlated with restorative justice values. The third product consists of a conference poster presentation on the conceptual frameworks of the Lakota restorative justice model

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Available for download on Saturday, November 11, 2023

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