It is with incredible sorrow that the National American Indian Court Judges Association announces that Judge Claudette White, Board of Directors for Region 2, has walked on. Judge White served on the Steering Committee and eventually, the Board of Directors beginning in 2019. During her time on the Board, she helped inform and guide ongoing training related to administering justice in tribal courts during the pandemic. She succumbed to COVID-19 on February 6, 2021, after a brief hospitalization.
"A Conversation with Abby Abinanti" as published on Root & Rebound
"Abby Abinanti is an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe and has been Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribe since 2008. She served as a San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner for approximately 20 years and is the first California native to be a member of the State Bar and to be appointed to a state judicial position. Abby was a key collaborator in developing Root & Rebound’s Tribal Reentry Advocacy project and is currently the Chair of our Board of Directors." To read more regarding 'her views on justice, mass incarceration, and her partnership with R&R', please click here.
The Honorable Tim Connors Speaks at
Seminar in Dublin, Ireland
DUBLIN, IRELAND - Recently, 22nd Circuit Court Judge Tim Connors presented peace-making as practiced by Native Americans at a seminar on mediation in Dublin, Ireland. An article written by Mary Hallissey, with the Ireland Law Society Gazette, was published January 28, 2020 on the LegalNews.com. Please follow the link here to view the article.
Supreme Court Justices, Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum Honor Peacemaker Patrick Wilson
LANSING, MI, January 16, 2019 — Members of the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum ("Forum"), including Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack, convened today at the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing to honor Peacemaker Patrick D. Wilson, of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Tribal Court. Chief Justice McCormack was joined by Justice Megan K. Cavanagh, the Court’s new liaison on tribal issues, and her father, retired Justice Michael F. Cavanagh, in presenting Wilson with a resolution from the Supreme Court for his instrumental work on the Forum and his assistance in starting the Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court—the first state court of its kind in Michigan.
"The work of the Forum is important to all Michigan citizens because it affects how our court systems best serve Michiganders, and the peacemaking process is an essential part of this work," said Chief Justice McCormack. "Peacemaker Wilson is truly a visionary, and I applaud him for helping to bring this approach to justice to the state level."
Forum members in attendance included Judge Timothy Connors, of Washtenaw County Circuit and Peacemaking Courts; Peacemaker Margaret Connors, Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court; William Petoskey, Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court; and Chief Judge Jeffrey Nellis, Mason County Circuit Court.
Representing the Little River Band were Tribal Ogema (or "Chief’) Larry Romanelli, Tribal Court Chief Judge Daniel Bailey, Associate Judge Angela Sherigan, Peacemaker Martha Howell, Court Administrator Deborah Miller, and Court Clerk Laurie Willis.
Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to problem solving that focuses on healing and restoring relationships between parties in disagreement. It aims to improve the traditional courtroom experience in a process whereby everyone is part of a comprehensive solution. Parties meet in a circle with trained peacemakers.
Retired Justice Michael Cavanagh cofounded the Michigan Tribal State Federal Judicial Forum with Tribal Judge Michael Petoskey, of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, in 2014 to provide an ongoing venue for judges from all three jurisdictions to convene jointly to improve working relations and communication. It is comprised of judges representing each of Michigan’s 12 federally-recognized tribes, 12 state court judges, and federal judges and officials.