Peace Villages are places for restoration, resolution, and reintegration. A Peace Village model can be implemented in the home, a school, a business, and in the community. It is a model that moves away from punitive, punishing, “right” and “wrong” approaches, and invites participants to begin seeing through what Rupert Ross calls, a relational lens.
This shift in perspective sees the relationship as the highest priority (rather than the dispute itself, or the outcome of a task).
In a Peace Village, when there is a dispute, miscommunication, or misunderstanding, all involved parties go to what is called, The Peace Room. There, an Elder would be available to assist with seeing through this relational lens. The Elder supports each party in seeing with these new lenses, coming to new understandings, and arriving to new solutions for their relationship. Participants in this process are invited to share with the greater community how they worked through their issue together, and any new insights they developed.
Our model is not only horizontal—helping students with other students, teachers with other teachers, and a parent with another parent; it is also vertical, and invites this relationship-building practice to be done between children and adults, employers and employees, students and administrators. By building a language and culture of Peace, and focus on relationship, we support the developmental needs and integrity of each human being in the community.