In 2004, Meridian Institute, an organization with expertise in designing, facilitating, and mediating collaborative problem-solving processes, was asked to assess the feasibility of forming collaborative, community-based-watershed groups in northern New Mexico to develop plans to address water-quality problems and--if determined to be feasible--to facilitate the formation of those groups and plans. Early in the assessment process it became clear that the historical context was critically important and was one of the factors that had to be addressed. Here, Miles explores the applicability of apology, forgiveness, and reconciliation to a collaborative group process that can be examined through the example of community-based watershed groups working to identify mutually acceptable water-quality-improvement strategies.

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