Navajo Justice: Life Comes From It

“The Navajo word for “law” is beehaz-aanii. It means something fundamental and absolute, something that has existed from the beginning of time…It’s the source of a healthy, meaningful life. Navajos say that “life comes from beehaz-aanii,” because it is the essence of life. Imagine a system of law that permits anyone to say anything they like during the course of a dispute, and no authority figure has to determine what is “true.” Think of a system with an end goal of restorative justice, which uses equality and the full participation of disputants in a final decision. If we say of law that “life comes from it,” then where there is hurt, there must be healing.” Former Chief Justice of the Navajo Nation shares more in this powerful piece.

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