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NHBP Tribal Council Swears in 4 Judiciary Seats

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi swore in four individuals during their December Tribal Council meeting.
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The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi swore in four individuals during their December Tribal Council meeting, all of whom were reappointed and showed a passion and commitment to ensure the tribe’s self-determination.

Two Tribal Judiciary officials and the tribe’s Chief Legal Officer and Tribal Prosecuting Attorney received the oath of office for the Michigan tribe.

“Each of the officials were reappointed to their respective positions. The tribal council members recognized their passion and commitment that will ensure the self-determination of our tribal members. The preservation of institutional knowledge will continue to strive for the common good,” NHBP Tribal Council Chair Homer A. Mandoka said in a statement.

Matthew L.M. Fletcher was reappointed as tribal associate justice, and will serve a 6-year term on NHBP’s Supreme Court. Fletcher, a Grand Traverse Band member, is professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law and director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, The Law of American Indians. Fletcher sits as Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and appellate judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska.

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 NHBP reappointed Melissa L. Pope as Chief Judge of the tribal court. She will serve a 4-year term. Pope received a Bachelor’s degree in Literature, Science and the Arts from the University of Michigan in 1992, and her Juris Doctorate from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1999. She’s served as the tribe’s chief judge since February 2011. She has served as the Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians Appellate Court Chief Justice since 2009. Since 2007, she has taught American Indian Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law as an adjunct faculty member.

Nancy A. Bogren was reappointed to her second 4-year term as the NHBP prosecutor and presenting officer. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Valparaiso University in 1987 and immediately served as the assistant prosecuting attorney for Berrien County, Michigan until 1991. She left Berrien County to take a position with the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office until 1998, where she stayed until 2005 when she opened her private practice in Paw Paw. Bogren serves as the tribe’s Indian Child Welfare Act attorney and Elder Protection Attorney.

William J. Brooks was reappointed for a fourth term as tribal chief legal officer. Since graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1988, Brooks has spent 25 years almost exclusively in the field of federal Indian law. His resume includes five years at Michigan Indian Legal Services; three years in litigation practice focusing on civil rights and employment litigation; and nearly 15 years as General Counsel for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. He has served as special council for five other Michigan tribes and as adjunct faculty at Michigan State University’s College of Law’s Indigenous Law and Policy Institute. He was sworn into another 2-year term.