Perceptions and Facts

 

Bob Hughes

Former CRS Mediator, Atlanta and Seattle Offices


[Full Interview]

Question:
What did you do to open up the line of communication?

Answer:
They ask questions, and they get the answers. The second session was where we would begin the process of problem identification. And at this point, no discussion shall be conducted about answers or solutions to any of these. That's something else that will happen later. What we want now is a free and frank exchange of ideas from both sides. Then I would invite, "Would you like to start off and list your issues?" They've given them to me individually. They would list the issues, one by one. A certain amount of clarification would begin to be taking place, understanding of not only what, but why they're upset. The tribal leadership had never heard of these tribal fishermen defecating in somebody's front yard in front of children, this was outrageous, and that sort of thing. A certain amount of clarification and explanation began to take place.

Question:
Were all of those things considered factual information, or were any of those issues ever challenged?

Answer:
Oh yes. But I would've stated in the beginning that these are perceptions by the people on this side of the table and it's important for you to not only know what happened, but to hear these perceptions and try to understand them.