Hawai’i Courts use Indigenous Practices and Collaboration for Conflict Resolution

This past March, a notable mix of different types of institutions came together to address the unique conflict resolution needs of the state of Hawai’i. Historically conflicts and misunderstandings have arisen between cultures – and between generations. The attendees included The Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Hawai’i State Judiciary, the Association for Conflict Resolution, The Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, the Native Hawaiian Bar Association, the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Hawai’i State Bar Association, and The Mediation Center of the Pacific, along with the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic.

One aspect of native Hawaiian culture taken into consideration is the practice of Ho’oponopono, a system of forgiveness and restoration. Laurie Tochiki of EPIC Ohana moderated a panel discussion, “Indigenous Conflict Resolution: Practice and Integration”, exploring how this ancient indigenous practice may be incorporated into modern-day laws. It is important to note the Ho’oponopono is used not only for personal and family disputes but in larger community disagreements.

Additional panel discussion topics included: “Talk Story: Strategies to Bridge Cultural and Generational Gaps in Conflict Resolution” and “Multilateral Negotiation: Tools for Conflict Resolution and Prevention”.
For more information, visit the court’s website.

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