Dene Justice and Legal Traditions

A place to locate summaries and resources on Dene Legal and Justice traditions. Dene laws or rules, guiding principles, cultural responses to sentencing or restoring justice, legal protocols, community-informed methods of addressing harm. 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained within these entries is meant to provide general information, contextual summaries which may help to inform aspects of a Gladue Submission such as the healing plan and concepts of justice within different Indigenous Legal Traditions. These summaries are meant to demonstrate different Indigenous legal and justice traditions, and speak to broad concepts found within these legal systems. The database does not claim that these summaries are applicable to every Indigenous community or person, nor should they be viewed as definitive statements on Indigenous Laws and Legal traditions which are responsive, proactive, and change over time. Rather, they outline broad concepts that speak to worldviews and values demonstrated through Indigenous law and legal systems. Every Nation and Community will have their own legal traditions, protocols, and laws that are unique to them. These summaries help to enable database users to identify underlying values, key background information, and provide case-examples as to how one nation, or perhaps many, practiced and/or continues to practice their legal traditions. These contextual pieces have the potential to inform what types of sanctions and responses might be culturally responsive/relevant for a particular offender; however, it is important to draft healing plans in consultation with communities and Elders, representatives from the Criminal Justice System, prosocial networks (family, friends, organizations, etc.), and the client to identify appropriate sanctions.

Dene Laws, Rules, and Guiding Principles

  • Dene laws and principles which have been identified.

Dene Justice Traditions and Protocols

  • Sentencing and Community responses to harm, Dene justice protocols and methods of addressing conflict/harm.

Dene Justice Traditions: Imagined Today

  • Case Study of Contemporary Dene Justice Traditions: The Tsuu T'ina Peacemaker's Court (Tsuu T'ina Dene Nation, Alberta).