Friday Job Announcements

To post an open Indian law or leadership job to Turtle Talk, send all of the following information to indigenous@churchc6

In the email body:

A typed brief description of the position which includes

  • Position title
  • Location (city, state)
  • Main duties
  • Closing date
  • Any other pertinent details, such as a link to the application
  • An attached PDF job announcement or link to the position description

Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General

Investigative Analyst. Herndon, VA. Investigative Analyst will: Conduct investigative analysis in support of the initiation, development, and prosecution of criminal, civil, and administrative investigations. Work closely with investigative teams on various projects and cases in a support capacity, accessing various databases and analyzing information. Review investigative complaints, interview complainants, conduct research, and make recommendations on complaint disposition. Prepare a variety of written reports in support of investigative activities. Brief team members and managers on findings. Provide administrative support to the Office of Investigations. Closing date: 1/04/2023.

Yurok Tribe

Legal Interns for Summer 2023. Klamath, CA or Remote. The Yurok Tribe has the largest membership base of all California tribes, and we are dedicated to protecting our natural resources and way of life. As an intern with Yurok Office of the Tribal Attorney (OTA), you will gain experience working directly with Tribal leadership in areas of environmental law, gaming law, policy development, appellate briefing, and more. Law clerks are a part of our community, and they are invited to cultural events and in-the-field experiences throughout their internship. Applications will be accepted starting December 12, 2022, and will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Summer 2023 Internship with Division of Intergovernmental Affairs. Odanah, WI. Desired Class Level(s): 2L, 1L, 0L, Masters, Undergraduate. Duties include research and writing on treaty rights implementation. The topic depends on the legal or policy issues requiring analysis. Examples may include analysis of water diversion application requirements under an interstate compact, drafting testimony to a state legislature on pending legislation, or researching and analyzing changes in state law and their potential impacts on treaty harvesting. If needed, housing will be available. Closing Date: 01/13/2023 by 4:30 PM CST.

Rothstein Donatelli, LLP

Associate Attorney. Santa Fe, NM & Tempe, AZ. The Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tempe, Arizona offices of Rothstein Donatelli, LLP are each seeking a litigation associate for their Indian law practice.  Rothstein Donatelli has offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Tempe, Arizona. The Indian law practice in Santa Fe specializes in federal Indian law, including gaming, economic development, water rights, land rights, civil litigation, and transactional matters. Tempe specializes in federal Indian law, including gaming, economic development, Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian health law, labor and employment law, and transactional matters. Rothstein Donatelli is committed to advancing the sovereign rights of Native American tribes. Open until filled.

Hoopa Valley Tribe

Senior Tribal Attorney. Hoopa, CA. This position serves in the Office of Tribal Attorney and provides a broad range of legal services to the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council, Tribal Chairperson, and various tribal departments and entities. Major responsibilities include: developing tribal policies and drafting ordinances, reviewing business contracts and facilitating economic development efforts, representing the Tribe in civil and administrative proceedings, and conducting negotiations with local, state, and federal agencies.  At least four years of experience practicing Federal Indian Law or representing Tribal Governments is required. The position is open until filled.

Colorado River Indian Tribes

Chief Judge. Parker, AZ. The Chief Judge is responsible for fairly and impartially hearing and deciding judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the Colorado River Indian Tribes pursuant to the Colorado River Indian Tribal Laws, ordinances and regulations, or applicable state laws.  The Chief Judge is responsible for protecting the administrative operations of the Colorado River Indian Tribal court and supervises the Tribal Court and its employees. This position is Open Until Filled.

Berkey Williams LLP

Associate Attorney. Remote or Sacramento, CA. Firm members work across a variety of practice areas, including natural and cultural resource protection, land rights and acquisitions, water rights, ICWA, employment, healthcare, and governance.  Our expertise includes litigation in state, federal and tribal courts; advocacy before administrative and legislative bodies; drafting tribal codes, policies, and ordinances; and providing training for tribal leadership. Closing date Open until filled.

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Associate Attorney. Fort Defiance, AZ. Provides legal guidance and advice involving various areas of law. Reviews, researches, interprets, and prepares both written and oral opinions on a wide variety of legal issues. Drafts, reviews, and approves policies and procedures, regulations, bylaws, and other legal documents. Writes, develops and recommends company policy. Negotiates, prepares, and manages contracts related to construction projects, purchase power, finance, joint ventures and related utility service agreements.

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

General Attorney. Seattle, WA. The incumbent may be asked to serve any of the client agencies within HHS. Attorneys in OGC-Region X (Seattle, WA) provide legal advice and litigation support to the Department in complex matters requiring extensive research and sophisticated analysis of administrative law, judicial decisions, and statutes and regulations. Attorneys must be competent in a wide range of legal skills, including analytical and problem-solving skills, experience preparing legal briefs and/or memoranda, experience in applying statutes, regulations, and policies; and experience providing oral and written advice, and the ability to relate effectively with clients. Open until filled.

New Mexico Legal Aid

Coordinator – Echo Volunteer Attorney Program. Albuquerque, NM. The Project Coordinator will work closely with the VAP Director to expand pro bono services to low-income New Mexicans in rural counties using the Project ECHO model. The coordinator will work with NMLA’s VAP Director and Director of Grants Administration, along with staff from New Mexico’s 13 judicial districts, to determine the areas of greatest need. In collaboration with the VAP team, the coordinator will promote the project and will plan and facilitate Project ECHO sessions. The Statewide Project ECHO Coordinator will meet with judges involved in the Rural Justice Initiative, as well as the pro bono committees from the primarily rural judicial districts. They will work closely with the VAP Director to recruit pro bono attorneys willing to assist in the rural judicial districts. Closing date: December 20, 2022, or until filled.

Paralegal – Staff Attorney – Statewide Intake, Referral and Advise Unit. Flexible location – Any of the (11) NMLA office in New Mexico. Interviewing applicants on legal issues, providing legal information and advice, referrals and brief services. Location:  Albuquerque, New Mexico. Closing date: December 20, 2022, or until filled.

Paralegal – Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and General Practice. Albuquerque, NM. Maintaining client information in a database, conducting intakes, communicating successfully and respectfully with clients by any available verbal or written means, collection of client data, drafting correspondence and preparing other written materials, providing litigation support.  Closing date: December 20, 2022, or until filled.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Legislative Services Attorney. Harbor Springs, MI. The primary function of the Legislative Services Attorney is to serve the Tribal Council and provide legal advice in order to promote and protect Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Self-sufficiency, and Tribal Self-determination. The Legislative Services Attorney shall interact and communicate with Tribal Council and Tribal Council committees, representatives from other tribes, local, state, and federal units of government when necessary; and in some cases, the Tribal citizens, while maintaining effective cooperative relationships. The Legislative Services Attorney will provide representation of Tribal Council; provide advice and analysis of the Tribal Constitution, Tribal Codes, state and federal laws and regulations; negotiate and draft legal, business and State/Tribal documents; and draft Resolutions, Statutes, Certified Motions, policies, procedures, Legislative Directives, Declarations, Special Tributes, agreements, proposals, legal memorandums, Memorandums of Understandings (MOU), Leases and contracts for the Tribe and Tribal Council. Open until filled.

Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Principal Tribal Court Advocate. Window Rock, AZ.  Performs legal work related to representation of the Navajo Nation government, as assigned by the Assistant Attorney General, including legal research, negotiations, legal writing, drafting pleadings, briefs, memoranda, resolutions and other documents for the divisions, departments, or programs assigned. Child Support Enforcement: Present child support enforcement cases before the Office of Hearings and Appeals. Participate in case staffing with Child Support Enforcement officers; provide legal advice and case strategy. This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney (Water Right Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, professionally represents the Nation in multiple water rights adjudications pending in state and federal courts, in state administrative water rights matters and in any settlement negotiations concerning the Nation’s water rights. The Principal Attorney works closely with technical staff within the Water Rights Unit Staff, Department of Water Resources and other programs within the Navajo Nation, and with consultants retained to provide technical support to the Nation or to serve as expert witnesses. The Principal Attorney provides legal advice on all water rights matters to the Office of the President and Vice President, the Office of the Speaker, the Navajo Nation council, and its committees and subcommittees and the Navajo Nation Water Rights commission (NNWRC) to ensure that the water rights of the Navajo Nation are effectively pursued and protected.  This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney. Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, represents the Navajo Nation government; Review documents, such as service contracts, sub-recipient and grant agreements, legislation, proposed policies, etc., for legal sufficiency. Participate in negotiations regarding legal documents/agreements with parties outside of the Navajo Nation. Respond to Request for Services and other legal inquiries from clients. Perform legal research and provide legal advice verbally and in writing. Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulation, policies, and procedures; and advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects. This position is open until filled.

Attorney (Litigation Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Legal work related to federal, Navajo Nation, and state court and administrative tribunal representation of the Navajo Nation Government, as assigned by the Assistant Attorney General of the Litigation Unit or the Office of the Attorney General, and Deputy Attorney General, including legal research, pleading drafting, and settlement negotiation for Litigation Unit of the Department of Justice. Review of proposed disciplinary actions by Navajo Nation government programs for compliance with Navajo Nation Personnel Policies Manual and Navajo Preference in Employment Act. Drafting of proposed Navajo Nation legislation, regulations, and policies. Other duties as assigned.  This position is open until filled.

Attorney (Human Services and Government Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, represents the Navajo Nation government in reviewing documents, such as services contracts, sub-recipient and grant agreements, legislation, proposed policies, etc., for legal sufficiency. Participates in negotiations regarding legal documents/agreements with parties outside of the Navajo Nation. Respond to Request for Services and other legal inquiries from clients. Perform legal research and provide legal advice verbally and in writing. Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulation, policies, and procedures; and advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects.  This position is open until filled.

Attorney Candidate. Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General, the Attorney General, or the Deputy Attorney General, provides legal direction to Navajo Nation Divisions, Departments and offices, regarding a wide range of legal issues, including statutory and regulatory authority, contracts and procurement issues, and intergovernmental relations; Assists Attorneys; prepares and presents civil cases in tribal court and administrative bodies; confers and provides guidance, and prepares advisory opinions for assigned departments and branches of the government; prepares interpretations of new legislation and judicial decisions; reviews contracts, leases, permits and related documents; interviews witnesses, complainants, and others on a variety of legal matters; conducts legal research, prepares briefs, pleadings and other legal documents.  This position is open until filled.

Senior Attorney (Tax and Finance Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Respond to Requests for Services and other legal inquiries from clients, particularly in the area of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and federal Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF). Perform legal research and provide legal advice orally and in writing.  Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; as well as advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects. Participate in Legislative Branch and Executive Branch meetings, including Standing Committee meetings and Council Sessions, regarding approval of FRF expenditure plans and the planning and implementation of FRF programs and projects, in order to respond to legal questions pertaining ARPA and the use of FRF.  This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney (Human Services and Government Unit). Window Rock, AZ. Provides legal direction to other attorneys and advocates in providing complex legal representation of Navajo Nation Divisions, Departments, and Programs regarding a wide range of legal issues. Some legal issues may include statutory and regulatory review, contract disputes and procurement issues, and intergovernmental relations; performs professional legal work, research; presents cases in court and performs related duties as required; confers with, gives advice to and prepares opinions for various departments and branches of the Navajo Nation; drafts legal and judicial processes; prepares interpretations of new legislation and judicial decisions; reviews contracts, mortgages, leases, permits and related documents; conducts interviews on a variety of legal matters; conducts legal research, prepares briefs, pleadings and other legal documents. Advises clients and members of the various oversight committees of the Navajo Nation Council, as is required, on legal questions. Provides opinions on Navajo Nation law and policies and/or legislations/resolutions that may impact the Navajo Nation. Assist in routine operation of the Department of Justice. This position is open until filled.

Legal Secretary (Water Rights Unit). Window Rock, AZ. Under the direction of the Administrative Legal Secretary and the Assistant Attorney General, provides general office support by greeting clients, answering telephone calls, and screening and routing calls, requests and visitors to Unit staff. Records messages accurately left by clients, callers, visitors, etc. Understands and utilizes software and technology necessary to perform duties, i.e. Microsoft Office, Outlook, Windows, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Operates a variety of office equipment, including transcribing machines, calculators, copiers, facsimile machines, scanners, binding machines, printers, paper shredders and other types of equipment as technology changes. Schedules meetings, conferences, conference calls and other types of appointments. Prepares agendas and meeting materials. Prepares and assists in the preparation of notices, petitions, pleadings, complaints, briefs, summons, orders, affidavits and other legal forms and documents. Transcribes hearings, depositions, and minutes for use by attorneys. Develops and maintains case files for the Water Rights Unit. Prepares and/or assists with travel arrangements and required and related travel documents for Unit staff. Assists with administrative duties of other NNDOJ Units when assigned. Participates in general building maintenance in partnership with other NNDOJ Units. This position is open until December 01, 2022 by 5:00 p.m.

Navajo Nation Office of the Prosecutor

Prosecutor. Kayenta, AZ.  Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in juvenile adjudications, dependencies, Children in Need of Supervision (CHNS); research and study of litigation of juvenile proceedings and child neglect cases including appellate cases, reviews police, social service, and related reports/complaints, and other law enforcement documents and reports; prepares oral arguments, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; attends juvenile related hearings in Navajo Nation Courts; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case, prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; performs extensive legal research. Makes decisions in sensitive case and seeks assistance as needed in the juvenile matter. This position is open until filled.

Senior Prosecutor. Crownpoint, NM. Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in prosecuting individuals alleged to have violated provisions of the Navajo Nation Code and present major and complex litigation in District and Family Courts. Reviews citations, arrest sheets and other law enforcement documents and reports; interviews witnesses, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; gathers and compiles evidence; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case. Prepares and presents criminal and civil cases in the Navajo Nation and appellate courts; prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; collaborates with law enforcement agencies; and negotiates settlement with opposing parties. This position is open until filled.

Prosecutor. Crownpoint, NM.  Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in prosecuting individuals alleged to have violated provisions of the Navajo Nation Code; reviews citations, arrest sheets and other law enforcement documents and reports; interviews witnesses, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; gathers and compiles evidence; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case. Prepares and presents criminal and civil cases in the Navajo Nation and appellate courts; prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; performs extensive legal research. This position is open until filled.

Investigator, Window Rock, AZ. Conducts thorough study of criminal complaints, police reports, conduct field investigations, collects evidence, and related documentation. Maintains daily log of activities/investigation progress. Conduct interviews of protentional and real witnesses and suspects, evaluates reliability and credibility; Completes field investigations on and off the reservation to locate suspects and witnesses, observe suspicious activity, trace financial transactions/records, and collect evidence. Conduct search and seizures, analyze forensic evidence, analyze financial documents, ability to recognize fraud/schemes and collect, classify, and enter into evidence findings. Have the ability to communicate verbally and in written form precisely. Prepare reports, legal pleadings criminal complaints, case chronologies, witness testimonies, and maintains statistics. Collects data, prepares sketches and/or diagrams of investigation crime scene, completes video taping, takes photographs, and recordings; recreate crime scenes, and preserve evidence. This position is open until December 20, 2022 by 5p.m.

Click here for last week’s job announcements!

Fletcher on the Dark Matter of Federal Indian Law

Please check out “The Dark Matter of Federal Indian Law: The Duty of Protection,” a draft of which is now available on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

The United States and every federally recognized tribal nation originally entered into a sovereign-to-sovereign relationship highlighted by the duty of protection, a doctrine under international customary law in which a larger, stronger sovereign agrees to “protect” the small, weaker sovereign. The larger sovereign agrees to this duty of protection, in the American case anyway, in exchange for massive, occasionally unquantifiable amounts of land and resources, as well as the power to control the external sovereign relations of the protected sovereign. The smaller sovereigns, in this case, tribal nations, typically received protected reservation lands, hunting and fishing rights, small cash infusions, and the vague promise of protection.
What tribal nations have received so far in exchange for their lands and resources and sovereignty is a pittance compared to the value of that consideration. Justice Gorsuch noted in a recent case that tribal nations in Washington gave up millions of acres in exchange for “promises.” Those promises must mean something.
I call those promises the dark matter of federal Indian law.
The duty of protection owed by the United States to tribal nations is much like dark matter. The duty of protection was left undefined in Indian treaties. Yes, the treaties and other agreements that established a sovereign-to-sovereign relationship did provide for specific details about that relationship, most famously hunting and fishing rights or criminal jurisdiction. But most treaties and agreements are sparse, leaving open most of the details about that relationship. That’s the dark matter of Indian law.
This essay argues that the duty of protection between tribal nations and the federal government is law and that the judiciary has an obligation to enforce aspects of the duty of protection as understood by both tribal nations and Congress. The essay begins by describing the duty of protection as understood by tribal nations at the time of the origination of the duty and now. The essay then turns to how Congress and the Department of the Interior understands the duty of protection, at least since the start of the tribal self-determination era in the 1970s, and how the Department of Justice often undermines that understanding. Then, the essay explains that the dark matter of federal Indian law is the duty of protection, that the federal obligations to tribal nations and individual Indians is real, and that the duty of protection is enforceable. Finally, the essay shows how the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a useful tool judges can use in adjudicating the scope of the unstated parts of the duty of protection.
This essay is an invited submission to the Maine Law Review Indian law symposium.

This paper was also the subject of the 2022 Rennard Strickland lecture at the University of Oregon Law School:

Three New (and Fascinating — Read: Lots of Anishinaabe Jurisprudence) Appellate Court Opinions from Sault Tribe COA

Payment v. Election Committee

Hoffman v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors

MacLeod v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Pawnee Nation Endorses Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Persons

Here is the press release and related statutes:

Gov. Whitmer Attends State-Tribal Summit in Sault Ste. Marie, Appoints First Tribal Citizen Ever to Michigan Court of Appeals 

Michigan Executive Office of the Governor sent this bulletin at 12/06/2022 04:04 PM EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

December 6, 2022  

Contact: Press@Michigan.gov   

  

Gov. Whitmer Attends State-Tribal Summit in Sault Ste. Marie, Appoints First Tribal Citizen Ever to Michigan Court of Appeals 

Governor meets leaders from every tribe to continue collaboration on shared priorities, makes historic appointment to second-highest court in Michigan 

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer attended the Tribal Summit in Sault Ste. Marie. She met with Tribal leaders to address shared priorities and continue an open dialogue between the State of Michigan and sovereign tribal governments. She also announced her appointment of Judge Allie Greenleaf Maldonado to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Judge Maldonado will be the first Tribal citizen ever appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. 

   

“It was an honor to attend the Tribal Summit in the Sault,” said Governor Whitmer. “The State of Michigan and sovereign tribal nations must continue working together on our shared priorities and maintain an open, productive dialogue to get things done on the kitchen-table issues. I am committed to working alongside Tribal leaders to make a real difference in people’s lives and continue growing our economies. Our fortunes are linked, and we must collaborate to move our nations forward.”   

“We are pleased to host today’s summit between the state’s tribal communities and Gov.  Whitmer,” said Austin Lowes, vice chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. “It is fitting we hold this meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, a major gathering place for tribes and their leaders for hundreds of years. Each tribe had an opportunity to discuss individual issues with the governor and her staff, and we expressed support for continued meeting, expanded consultation on key matters and a higher profile for tribal matters during our general session with the governor.” 

In Governor Whitmer’s first year in office, she signed Executive Directive 2019-17, which reaffirms and extends Michigan’s commitment to recognize the sovereignty and right of self-governance of Michigan’s federally-recognized tribes and orders each state department and agency to adhere to these principles. It’s also the first executive directive in Michigan history to require training on tribal-state relations for all state department employees who work on matters that have direct implications for tribes, and also required each department and agency to adopt and implement a tribal consultation policy.  

  

Governor Whitmer has shown a deep commitment to ensuring members of Michigan’s federally recognized tribes have a seat at the table in state government. She has appointed 44 Native Americans to judgeships, councils, boards, and commissions. One of those appointees, Bryan Newland, was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs last year, where he serves Native communities nationwide alongside Secretary Deb Haaland.  

Judge Maldonado Appointment 

Governor Whitmer announced her appointment of Judge Allie Greenleaf Maldonado to the Michigan Court of Appeals, District 4. Judge Maldonado currently serves as the Chief Judge of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Trial Court. Judge Maldonado has also served as a pro tem judge for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Prior to her appointment as Chief Judge, she served as assistant general counsel for the LTBB tribe from 2002-2012. Following her graduation from law school, Judge Maldonado was selected as only the 15th tribal citizen to enter the prestigious honors program at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). There she became a litigator in the Indian Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. She later worked as a staff attorney for Monteau & Peebles, LLP.  

Maldonado earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the City University of New York. Judge Maldonado is a nationally recognized expert on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA). She is active in the legal community outside the court room and is a member of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association of Michigan, Anishinaabek Caucus of Michigan, Women Lawyer’s Association of Michigan, Michigan Committee on Juvenile Justice, and Michigan Justice for All Commission, and the treasurer for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. Allie lives in Petoskey with her husband, Jay. She is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and a member of the Turtle Clan. 

“I am humbled and honored to be trusted by Governor Whitmer for this appointment to the Michigan Court of Appeals,” said Judge Maldonado. “I look forward to taking all of my professional experience and diligently applying it to the work ahead of me. This is a moment of importance not just for me, but for all of Indian Country as the Governor’s wisdom in this appointment sends a message about the critical importance of the work of tribal courts. I am grateful to the Governor and her team, and I look forward to giving all of Michigan my best.” 

Frank Ettawageshik, executive director of United Tribes of Michigan and a member of the Little Traverse Band’s appellate court, called the appointment of Maldonado “an important step for Judge Maldonado, the court and Native Americans.” 

“Allie is eminently qualified for this important position. She has a deep understanding of the law, including the sometimes misunderstood but vitally important role of Native American tribes as sovereign nations under our system of justice,” said Ettawageshik. “This will give her an opportunity to expand her constituency from our tribal members to the entire state. She is a worthy addition to the Michigan Court of Appeals.” 

This appointment was made to fill a partial term following the retirement of Judge Amy Ronayne Krause effective December 13, 2022. Judge Maldonado’s term will commence on January 9, 2023 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2025. If Judge Maldonado wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Krause’s term, expiring January 1, 2027, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2024.  

Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. 

 

Michigan Governor Appoints Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Citizen Allie Maldonado to the Michigan Court of Appeals

Judge Allie Greenleaf Maldonado will be the first Native person to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals. The historic appointment was announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer today during the annual Michigan Tribal Summit in Sault Ste. Marie. Congratulations to Judge Maldonado!!

Judge Maldonado currently serves as the Chief Judge of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Court. Prior to her service as Chief Judge, she served as assistant general counsel for LTBB from 2002-2012. Judge Maldonado also worked as a lawyer for the Indian Resources Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Maldonado earned her JD from the University of Michigan Law School, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the City University of New York. She’s a nationally recognized expert on the Indian Child Welfare Act.

“I am humbled and honored to be trusted by Governor Whitmer for this appointment to the Michigan Court of Appeals,” Judge Maldonado said in a statement. “I look forward to taking all of my professional experience and diligently applying it to the work ahead of me. This is a moment of importance not just for me but for all of Indian Country, as the Governor’s wisdom in this appointment sends a message about the critical importance of the work of tribal courts. I am grateful to the Governor and her team, and I look forward to giving all of Michigan my best.”

Judge Maldonado’s appointment fills a partial term following the retirement of Judge Amy Ronayne Krause. Judge Maldonado’s term will begin January 9, 2023 and expire on January 1, 2025. If she wishes to continue to serve on the Michigan Court of Appeals after that date, she would be required to run for reelection in November of 2024.

https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/2022/12/06/governor-whitmer-appoints-first-tribal-citizen-michigan-court-appeals/

Interior Proposes New Fee-to-Trust Regs and New Class III Compact Process Regs, Parts 151 and 293

Here.

From the notice:

The Department of the Interior (Department) invites Tribal Leaders to consult on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Department’s Land Acquisition regulations, 25 CFR Part 151, and the NPRM for the Department’s Class III Tribal State Gaming Compact Process, 25 CFR Part 293.

25 CFR Part 151, Land Acquisition

Since the Department first promulgated these regulations in 1980, it has developed extensive experience in the fee-to-trust acquisition process.  Relying on that experience and input from Tribes, this proposed rule seeks to make the fee-to-trust process more efficient, simpler, and less expensive to support restoration of Tribal homelands.

25 CFR Part 293, Class III Tribal State Gaming Compact Process

The Department is developing proposed updates to Part 293 to provide clear guidance regarding the Secretary’s review and evaluation process for Tribal-State class III gaming compacts.  The current regulations do not identify the factors the Department considers; rather, those factors are contained in a series of decision letters issued by the Department since the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.  Recent and ongoing litigation highlights the need for the Department to clarify how it will review or analyze gaming compacts to determine whether they comply with federal law. 

Tribal Consultation

The Department will conduct two virtual consultation sessions and one in-person consultation to obtain further Tribal input on the Part 151 NPRM and the Part 293 NPRM.  The consultation sessions will be open to Tribal leadership and representatives of federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.  Please join us at one or more of the following consultations sessions.

If you would like to provide written comments, please email them to consultation@bia.gov by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.