Addressing Domestic Violence through Circle Peacemaking in Kake, Alaska: Reflections on Building Tribal-Researcher Capacity


  • Eric Einspruch ELE Consulting, LLC
  • Jon Wunrow ELE Consulting, LLC
  • Mike Jackson Organized Village of Kake
  • Dawn Jackson Organized Village of Kake
  • Anthony Gastelum Organized Village of Kake



Indigenous Justice, Circle Peacemaking, Indigenous Research and Evaluation, Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Alaska


This article first published advance online February 9, 2024

We begin by acknowledging the impact of historical trauma on the community, as this formed the backdrop for the entire capacity building project. In January 2021, the Organized Village of Kake (OVK), Alaska, received funding for a planning grant from the National Institute of Justice through the Tribal-Researcher Capacity-Building Grant program. The project focused on how to incorporate domestic violence (intimate partner violence) cases into the Circle Peacemaking process, and on developing a proposal to study that process. The partnership team consisted of members of the OVK Tribal staff and independent researchers. The grant was awarded in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, so all work on this project had to be conducted remotely. Of particular importance, Zoom allowed for face-to-face meetings, even though they could not be held in person. The partnership determined that a research study on use of Circle Peacemaking to handle domestic violence cases should centre an Indigenous research paradigm. The conceptual framework for the Circle Peacemaking process, rooted in Lingìt culture and life, is described. Existing strengths in the community that support the potential for using Circle Peacemaking in Kake to address domestic violence, potential measures of success, potential problems in carrying out a future study, and key learnings are also described.





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