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MSBA News

ADR Tip of the Month - January 2016

January ADR Tip of the Month 

These practice tips are drawn from the MSBA ADR Section's January 12, 2016, CLE:  "Improve your ADR and Law Practices by Increasing your Cultural Awareness: Native American Mediations," by Frank Bibeau, Action Title Inc.

Marilyn S. McKnight, Erickson Mediation Institute, Stephen K. Erickson, Erickson Mediation Institute, and Moderator James McGill, McGill Law Office & Mediation Center 

·       When working with Native American participants in a mediation or negotiation type setting, it can be helpful to:

o   Welcome opening prayers or ceremony

o   Respect everyone with “unconditional positive regard”

o   Be humble and listen to what is said and what is not said

o   Listen to the needs, ideas  and wishes

o   Clarify as needed, but do not question

o   Be interested and curious, and humbly offer ideas 

·       When working with Native American participants in a mediation or negotiation type setting, it can be beneficial to incorporate traditional Native American values when drafting settlement agreements. 

·       When assisting Native American clients in resolving conflict, the teachings of The Seven Grandfathers; Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, and Humility, can be influential in drafting durable agreements.

Compiled by Linda Mealey-Lohmann, Past Chair MSBA ADR Section