Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Quinault Indian Nation wellness courts replace punishment with empowerment

TAHOLAH, Wash. – From the steps of the Quinault Indian Nation Tribal Court, you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and hear the Pacific ocean waves reach out to touch the shoreline just a short walk away.

Each person that walks into tribal court is greeted with genuine smiles. Case managers joke amongst each other and catch up with their clients. Quinault Tribal Court Chief Judge Leona Colegrove sits at a desk in plain clothes, her back to the raised bench where judges typically sit.

"I hate the way that the courtroom is set up where the bench is in the front and up higher than everybody else," Colegrove said. "I think it's intimidating for people who come to the court. I have people who hate coming to court, they're scared out of their mind to come to court because they associate it with bad things, and I don't think it has to be like that."


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