First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is pleased to launch a new online series of essays that focuses on Native justice. With generous support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), First Nations invited multiple experts to discuss the root causes of Native injustice and highlight possible frameworks to move forward toward Native justice.
This essay by Matthew L.M. Fletcher, an appellate tribal judge and law professor at Michigan Law, University of Michigan, discusses traditional and contemporary perspectives on justice among his own tribal nation. In this essay, Professor Fletcher explores how the Michigan Anishinaabek have adapted and modified the American court system to reflect the Anishinaabe philosophy of Mino-Bimaadiziwin, which encourages Anishinaabe people to acknowledge and take responsibility for “their actions and inactions on the surrounding world.” He reasons that this tribally specific approach empowers the Anishinaabe court to better serve their own people and communities.