This article introduces a new dispute resolution process that we have termed a Hybrid Process, which has been designed to support nation-to-nation building in Canada. It is clear that classic theories and current mediation practices are not suited to conflicts that involve Indigenous peoples. In the past, we have used conventional mediation processes with First Nation People and it has not worked because mediation is not an Indigenous cultural practice. When conventional mediation has been employed, First Nation People have often not been participatory and have understandably withdrawn from the process. However, the mediation process is both malleable and adaptable, and the Hybrid Process is built on those solid foundations. A Hybrid Process refers to a combination of two culturally unique practices – Indigenous peacemaking and mediation. The combination of these two practices provides a culturally sensitive and holistic approach to conflict and nation building.
This process has been designed for multi-party conflicts involving Indigenous leaders, communities, governments and stakeholders. Due to the complex nature of Indigenous relations in Canada, this process utilizes a team of culturally fluent practitioners to facilitate the process. Designed by a First Nations leader and former Grand Council Chief and two Canadian mediators, this process introduces a new perspective to resolving disputes in a changing landscape and incorporates what we have learned over many years and thousands of mediations.