Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative

The IPI Advisory Committee

IPI is supported by a long-term anonymous grant and led by an Advisory Committee that consists of traditional peacemaking experts and practitioners, including NARF Board member Barbara Smith.

Advisory Committee Members:

Nora Antoine
Nora Antoine, Ph.D., is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate and is a faculty member in the Business Management Department at Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. She has worked with Indigenous peacemaking collaborators throughout the US and with various educational systems, tribal courts, and businesses interested in advancing, integrating, and promoting mediation and/or peacemaking into their systems. Of particular interest is the role of leadership and the integration of cultural values (respect, generosity, bravery and wisdom) and how these values manifest in the organizations they lead.

James Botsford
James Botsford has practiced law exclusively in the area of Indian rights for the past 30 years as Director of Indian Legal Services offices in Nebraska and Wisconsin. He has been involved in tribal court development during much of his career, including the use of Peacemaking in tribal judicial systems. His role has been and continues to be one of support for Peacemakers and the Peacemaking processes in tribal communities. He has been a member of NARF's Peacemaking Advisory Committee since its inception. James retired from the active practice of law in 2012 but continues to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska in addition to writing, travelling, and grandparenting.

Polly E. Hyslop
Polly E. Hyslop was born and raised in rural Alaska. She is an Upper Tanana Dineh from Northway, Alaska . She is a graduate from UAF with a B.A. in Print Journalism. She recently earned a M.A. degree in Justice Administration and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies. She spent several years in NYC as a journalist before returning back to Northway in 1995.  While in the Upper Tanana region, she served as a cultural-facilitator for university students, government and private agencies. Her interest is in community-based justice processes in rural Alaska using Peacemaking..

She recently embarked on a documentary featuring Peacemaking Practitioners, Harold and Phil Gatensby of Carcross, Yukon and Mike A. Jackson of Kake, Alaska.

Steve Moore
Steve Moore is a senior staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund. His work includes water rights, the protection of sacred lands, the repatriation of human remains and the protection of unmarked Native graves, the religious use of peyote by members of the Native American Church, and the religious rights of Native prisoners. He is admitted to practice law in several federal and state courts, courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He also serves as a member of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, and is currently the co-chair of the Advisory Committee to the Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado School of Law. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. He is a co-author with K. Heidi Gudgell and Geoffrey Whiting of "The Nez Perce Tribe's Perspective on the Settlement of Its Water Right Claims in the Snake River Basin Adjudication," 42 Idaho Law Review 563 (2006).

Dave Raasch
Dave Raasch is an enrolled member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. His career in the justice field spans some forty years; beginning as a police officer, 20 years in court administration, plus 13 years as a Tribal Court judge. He recently retired as a Tribal Project Specialist for the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) at Fox Valley Technical College where he worked with Native American communities across the United States. His current focus is on “reparative” justice and peacemaking which emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime rather than merely punishing the offender. It looks at accountability and healing and balancing the “Self.” Even though now retired he remains on the faculty of the National Judicial College in Reno, NV, serves on the Board of Directors for the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in West Hollywood, CA and the Corporate Board for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Brown County. He assisted in the production of Tribal Nations: The Story of Federal Indian Law, which is a 60 minute documentary and is a national speaker on topics of reparative justice, peacemaking and developing cross jurisdictional relationships. Most recently, he was selected to serve on the Tribal Law and Order Act Advisory Committee. Currently David works as an independent consultant and in his free time he enjoys his 5 grandchildren and reading.

Brett Lee Shelton
Brett Lee Shelton
, enrolled Oglala Sioux Tribe, is the staff attorney primarily responsible for the peacemaking project at the Native American Rights Fund. He developed his interest in peacemaking and other alternative dispute resolution while still in law school at Stanford. At that time, he took a Native American Common Law course, which included a unit on Navajo Peacemaking, and an innovative, year-long, highly participatory course in mediation. Professionally, he has pursued his interest in several ways: while a law clerk, he helped establish an alternative dispute resolution program at the San Mateo County Superior Court ( Redwood City, CA); he volunteered at the Boulder (Colorado) Community Mediation Services; and, he assisted the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court implement a mediation training program and an innovative juvenile sentencing diversion program focused on cultural revitalization for troubled youth. In addition to the Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative, his work at NARF includes boarding school healing project work, sacred places protection, and other religious freedom matters. He also has worked in private practice, served Indian Tribes as a policy analyst for the National Indian Health Board, organized grassroot efforts for international indigenous peoples in biotechnology evaluation, and assisted domestic violence victims in civil court on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and Nebraska (his home reservation). He received his law degree from Stanford University and a Master of Arts from the University of Kansas.

Honorable Robert Yazzie
The Honorable Robert Yazzie is Chief Justice Emeritus of the Navajo Nation and is an international expert and lecturer on customary law, indigenous rights, and traditional governance. Over the past thirty years, he has served as an instructor and consultant at a variety of institutions including the University of New Mexico School of Law, Navajo Technical University, Navajo Nation Department of Justice, and Dine' College. From 1985-1992, Justice Yazzie served as District Judge for the Courts of the Navajo Nation and then as the Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation from 1992-2003. From his experiences, he has written extensively on peacemaking processes and applications including articles on Healing as Justice, Navajo Restorative Justice, Peacemaker Courts and Violence Control Plans, and Navajo Peacemaking: Technology and Traditional Indian Law.

Shawn Watts
Shawn Watts
Shawn Watts is a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and is the Associate Director of the Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program at Columbia Law School. Watts won the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for clinical advocacy and was a Strine Fellow while he was a student at Columbia Law School. He developed and teaches a course in Native American Peacemaking. He has mediated in the New York City Civil Court, Harlem Small Claims Court, and the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and he has also supervised student mediations in court-related programs in New York City. Prior to serving as the Associate Director of the Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program at Columbia Law School, Watts was an associate in the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group at the New York office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP where, in addition to representing both creditors and debtors in multimillion-dollar bankruptcies, he specialized in Federal Indian Law and tribal finance. Watts earned a bachelor of arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2000. He served as the President of the National Native American Law Students Association and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar while at Columbia Law School. In addition, he was a Managing Editor of Columbia Law School's Journal of Law and Social Problems.


2011 Advisory Committee (l to r): Steve Moore, James Botsford,
Barbara A. Smith, Phil Bluehouse, Nora Antoine, David Raasch , Diane LeResche