The current iteration of the field of conflict resolution emphasizes on inclusion of diverse thoughts, experiences, tools, and people. While alternative approaches to resolving conflicts have received much attention in the field, less studies have been done on the way indigenous communities resolved conflict. With this in mind, we at the Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) seek to engage in the process of learning from two or three indigenous communities in north/south American spheres in order to continue diversifying and decolonizing conflict resolution approaches.

Our study will engage with indigenous communities, individuals and conflict-resolution practitioners alike to find answers to these key research questions:

  • How does the community understand and address conflict?
  • What processes must occur for a conflict to be considered addressed or resolved?
  • What role does the environment have in conflict?

Our goal is to document indigenous ways of dealing with conflict for a future comparative study on some of the current practices in the field of conflict resolution. We hope that this process will lead to enhancing the field of conflict resolution while encouraging it to become more inclusive, diverse, and decolonized. 

In pursuing this project, CCS plans to actively engage in conversations with indigenous communities from a variety of backgrounds and on a variety of themes. Among these, CCS intends to explore indigenous perspectives on several different aspects of conflict, including: traditional discourses and practices relating to conflict resolution, reconciliation and healing processes, and the role played by environmental factors in conflict-situations. As the center strongly believes that knowledge doesn’t come from a single source, we hope to engage both indigenous thinkers and conflict-resolution practitioners alike in our efforts to understand these topics and incorporate lessons learned into the greater field of conflict resolution.

Proposed timeline: A broad literature review and shaping our research questions through conversations with indigenous communities will be done in the pilot phase of this project in Spring 2022. CCS hopes to begin contacting and conducting interviews with our partners in Fall 2022. Publication of initial findings expected by no later than early Spring 2023.

Students and researchers are welcome to participate with the program and should write to for more information or ways to get involved.

This project is led by Dylan Moglen, IPD ‘23 masters candidate and Alex Christodoulou, IEP ‘23 masters candidate. Center Director, Dr. Pushpa Iyer, will oversee the project.