Project Peacemaker

Project Peacemaker (Providing Education and Community Empowerment by Maintaining and Keeping the Earth and All Our Relatives through Tribal Justice Systems) was a collaborative initiative involving the American Indian Studies Center, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, four tribal colleges (Turtle Mountain Community College, Salish Kootenai College, Dine College, and Northwest Indian College), and other tribal governmental institutions to offer degree and certificate programs in Tribal Legal Studies. It was partly funded by the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

The program was designed to provide a nine-month certificate program, a two-year Associate of Arts degree, and a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Tribal Legal Studies at participating tribal colleges. The courses offered are based on Native perspectives, customs, traditions, common law, culture, and traditional dispute resolution. Such training prepares students for employment with tribal governments and tribal court systems and are also available as in-service training for current tribal employees and the community at large.

A central component of Project Peacemaker is a tribal community-based collaborative development process for planning and implementation. Project Peacemaker’s goal is to enhance Native American communities on at least three different dimensions: empowering Native people to provide leadership, promoting tribal self-determination and enhancing tribal sovereignty, and strengthening tribal community colleges.