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Swampy Cree Justice: Researching the Ways of the People, Third Edition
John G. Hansen, PhD
JCharlton Publishing / Softcover / Jan 2019
9781926476230 (ISBN-10: 1926476239)
Indigenous Peoples / Research
price: $43.00 (may be subject to change)
255 pages
This title is unavailable to order from Caversham.

Within this updated and expanded third edition of Swampy Cree Justice: Researching the Ways of the People, Dr. John G. Hansen (Member, Opaskwayak Cree Nation; and Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan) builds upon his exploration of the concept of Indigenous/First Nations justice by incorporating discussions with three Omushkegowuk (Swampy Cree) Justice Committee members to the stories and explanations originally provided by the six Omushkegowuk Elders indigenous to northern Manitoba. In so doing, Dr. Hansen provides an example of how the philosophy of Omushkegowuk justice, (a concept of justice undergirded, and imbued with, a belief in education and healing), is being implemented in praxis.

While Dr. Hansen provides a narrative and comparative understanding of Indigenous justice based upon the Omushkegowuk experience, its message will resonate with other Indigenous groups as they deal with Western justice systems based upon retribution and punishment as such adversarial systems tends to be divisive for the community, ostracizing for the offender, and ignoring of victim needs.


Swampy Cree Justice: Researching the Ways of the People is a must read for First Nations peoples, policy makers, government, justice, police, and corrections officials. The book is based on Indigenous-based research conducted with Elders from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (The Pas, Manitoba). According to the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal People’s report, it was recommended that First Nations people had the right to develop their own Justice Systems based on their worldviews, cultural values, languages, and traditional customs. Dr. John G. Hanson has done an excellent analysis of what this looks like from Omushkegowak restorative justice model using a storytelling methodology. His critique of the current retributive and punishment Justice model is linked to the high incarceration rates of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Clearly there is a need to define the meaning, institutions, and standards of Justice in each First Nation across the country in order to address the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action in the Justice sector. It is time to occupy the field for the sake of balance and harmony.
Herman Michell, PhD
Member, Barren Lands First Nation
External Consultant for Prince Albert Grand Council

Table of Contents


1. Institutional Racism, Cultural Racism and Racist Practice
2. The Role of Stories in Indigenous Research
3. Justice
4. Cultural Implications when Conducting Indigenous Research
5. Historical Overview of Restorative Justice
6. A History of Indigenous Justice
7. Research Methodology
8. The Elders
9. An Indigenous Worldview
10. Presenting the Elders Knowledge
11. Data Analysis
12. The Organization of the Holistic Data Analysis – The Four Directions
13. Opaskwayak Restorative Justice Ideas and Practices
14. Conclusion

About the Author


About the Author:

John G. Hansen, PhD was born and raised in northern Manitoba; he is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. John is an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of Saskatchewan, and his research and teaching specialization is in the area of Justice, Crime and Society, focusing on Indigenous knowledge and non-Western models of justice.

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