Circle Facilitator Workshop

August 13-15, 2019

Circle Facilitator Workshop

Our communities utilized the Circle process for many things with different methods, names, and protocol.  It is vital to create balance in our communities and support overall health and wellness.  The circle is not only approved by our Ancestors, but is also an evidence-based tool that has been proven a useful tool in juvenile delinquency, alcohol/substance abuse, and conflict resolution. 

Group photo at RurAL CAP

About the Workshop

Circle Facilitator Workshop

On August 13-15, 2019 members from various Alaskan Tribal communities gathered at a Circle Facilitator workshop to learn, exchange knowledge and practice how Circles are being utilized by Tribal Courts to improve outcomes for tribal youth. 

The 3-day workshop provided a highly interactive setting where participants working with youth had the opportunity to partake in a circle facilitator role using under-age drinking cases as a real-life scenario. 


  • Lisa Jaeger, Tribal Government Specialist presented on tribal court codes and ways for tribal court to take cases as well as restorative justice;
  • Kimberly Martus, RurAL CAP Community Technical Assistance Coordinator, spoke on the topic of Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts – particularly the tribal ten key components when considering the specific and unique needs of youth;
  • Curt Shuey of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe led the Circle Process with an overview on Circle Peacemaking and Circle Keeping guidelines.
  • Helen Gregorio of Togiak, presented on Tribal Healing to Wellness Court used in Togiak when working with the youth and family to reduce criminal offenses through therapeutic and cultural interventions – all with the mission to improve the safety of the community.

At the end of the training, participants had more understanding and awareness of the Alaska tribal court system and procedural steps in using a circle process as a way of resolving disputes and conflicts, maintained peace and delivering justice through the use of traditional values, customs, and practices. 

Circle Keeper

  • Learning to facilitate a circle
  • Gaining new insight as a circle keeper

Type of audience for workshop:

  • Alaska Grantees (Juvenile Healing to Wellness Courts)
  • Tribal Court (council members)
  • Tribal Communities
  • Magistrate Judges
  • State Attorneys 

Click to view the photo slideshow:

Tribal Courts Resources

Supporting Tribal Courts in Alaska

The Resource Basket is not a direct service provider.   We are here to provide helpful links to connect parents, families, caregivers and the community at large with the resources needed to protect Alaska Native youth and strengthen Alaska’s tribal communities.

Alaska Tribal Court System

Alaska Court System

Tribal Court Codes are designed to ensure the efficient and fair administration of justice while honoring traditional customs and practices. The codes are in place to preserve and strengthen Tribal Court, now and into the future.  (Source:   Kenaitze Indian Tribe)

What is Circle Peacemaking?

Supporting Tribal Courts in Alaska

Circle Peacemaking:  Organized Village of Kake

Circle Peacemaking – Kake Method

This video — produced by the Organized Village of Kake — depicts the restoration of traditional methods of dispute resolution the Organized Village of Kake adopted Circle Peacemaking as its tribal court in 1999. Circle Peacemaking brings together victims, wrongdoers, families, religious leaders, and social service providers in a forum that restores relationships and community harmony. With a recidivism rate of nearly zero, it is especially effective in addressing substance abuse-associated crimes.

Circle Process:  Video by Mike Jackson – 2003

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

About BIA – Tribal Justice Support

Funding Opportunity –  Upward of $200,000 dollars

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

About Bureau of Indian Affairs

Indian Affairs (IA) is the oldest agency of the United States Department of the Interior. Established in 1824, IA currently provides services (directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts) to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. There are 573 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages in the United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is responsible for the administration and management of 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates held in trust by the United States for American Indian, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) provides education services to approximately 42,000 Indian students.

BIA Program Description & Resources

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Funding Opportunity –  Upward of $200,000 dollars

The Tribal court assessment (“TCA”) evaluates tribal needs and provide tribes with recommendations for improving their operational activities by following the Tribal Court Performance Standards (TCPS), which are modified to meet the specific needs of tribal courts.

It is up to the Tribal Justice Support (TJS) Directorate to conduct tribal court assessments to ensure justice in tribal forums is properly administered. This process involves the TJS assessment team working with the Tribe collecting and observing documents regarding Tribal constitution, Tribal codes, and court procedures. Once the specific needs of each tribal court are highlighted, then the TJS Directorate can provide strategic action plan that involves hands-on training, recommendations and technical assistance to help strengthen the Tribe’s court system.

RULE:  Submit one-time funding request per year.

Alaska Tribal Justice Resource Center

Providing Training and Technical Assistance to Alaska Tribal Justice Systems

Alaska Tribal Justice Resource Center

The new ATJRC website promotes tribal self-governance, inter-community collaboration, and Alaskan sustainability. It provides resources focused on a variety of emerging justice trends: tribal public safety and law enforcement, tribal courts and restorative justice, and community reintegration programs for citizens returning from incarceration. 

The Resource Basket

This is a RurAL CAP affiliated program.