Although mediation has exploded in popularity here in the U.S. over the last several decades, mediation itself possesses a history that is centuries old. It has been practiced since ancient times in China, Rome, Greece, and Africa and other places around the world. In the early days of this country native American traditions included mediation and conciliation to preserve relationships and promote harmony, and Puritans, and later on, the Quakers, utilized forms of mediation to address disputes within their communities.
Mediation is woven deeply into the traditions of many cultures. For an interesting example of mediation within a cultural context, read the article in a recent issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette about the use of traditional methods of resolving disputes by the Hmong in Wisconsin.