Join us in Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!
Serving American Indian/Alaska Native communities since 1996
Our Board of Directors
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is guided by a dedicated board of directors, committed to improving the health, well-being, and cultures of Native peoples.
Yurok Tribal Court
San Francisco Superior Court (ret.)
Judicial Council’s Tribal Court-State Court Forum.
Abby Abinanti is a graduate of Humboldt State College and the University of New Mexico School of Law.When Abby was admitted to the California State Bar in 1974, she was the first California Native admitted to the California State Bar. Abby is one of a very limited number of attorneys who have been practicing tribal child welfare law since prior to the 1978 enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Abby has served as a California Superior Court Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco assigned to the Unified Family Court for the past 18 years, but retired in September 2011. Judge Abinanti has also served as Chief Judge for the Yurok Tribal Court since her appointment in March 2007. Her additional tribal court experience has included serving as Chief Magistrate, Court of Indian Offenses, for the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation from 1983-1986 and as a Judge by special appointment for many other tribal courts including Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court (1985), Hopi Tribal Court (1986), and Colorado River Indian Tribe (1994). Judge Abinanti has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute since its establishment in 1996.
She also currently serves as a a board member of the San Francisco Friendship House Association of American Indians, Inc., and previously served as a board member for the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association and its Tribal Court CASA Advisory Council. Abby is also the author of various training resources including two Instructor Guides for TLPI’s Tribal Legal Studies textbook series.
Former Chief Judge,
Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans Tribal Court (ret.)
Judge David D. Raasch is an enrolled member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. Now enjoying retirement, he has served as a Tribal Project Specialist for the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) at Fox Valley Technical College. NCJTC provides training and technical assistance for law enforcement agencies and justice systems, including Native American communities throughout the United States. Prior to joining Fox Valley Technical College, David was a police officer in Shawano, WI and then the clerk of municipal court for the City of Green Bay, WI for 20 years, retiring in 2004.
From 1995-2005 he was the Chief Judge of the Mohican Nation Tribal Court and served an additional 3 years as an Associate Judge. He is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Tribal Law and Policy Institute in West Hollywood, CA, serves on the Corporate Board of Directors for CASA of Brown County and the Board of Directors for Wisconsin Judicare. He also is a past president of the Wisconsin Tribal Judges’ Association. Judge Raasch assisted in the production of Tribal Nations: The Story of Federal Indian Law, which is a 60 minute documentary, and is a national speaker on topics of reparative justice, peacemaking and developing cross jurisdictional relationships. He was also selected to serve on the Tribal Law and Order Act Advisory Committee.
Currently, he works as an independent consultant and in his free time he enjoys his 5 grandchildren and reading. Judge Raasch is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and has been on the faculty of The National Tribal Judicial Center at The National Judicial College since 2002.
Margrett Oberly Kelley
Margrett Oberly Kelley, Comanche Kuutsu Tukapu (Buffalo Eaters) clan and Osage Eagle Clan, is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute’s Board of Directors. Margrett’s extensive experience serving Indian country includes serving as a Legal Advisor and Court Administrator for the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission; a Prosecutor in the Court of Indian Offenses, Anadarko Area; and working as an instructor with the National Indian Justice Center in Santa Rosa, CA. Margrett has also served as the Court Administrator/Contract Specialist for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and she has provided services as the reference librarian for the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Muskogee Public Library, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Her present employment is as a Veterans Claims Examiner in the Veterans Administration, Muskogee Regional Office, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Original CFR Courts Anadarko Area
Lucille Echohawk (Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma) has worked for decades on behalf of Tribal Nations, their families and communities at the local, state, and national levels. She earned a B.A. at Brigham Young University and a Master’s degree in Education at Loyola University, Chicago. Lucille has served as the Executive Director of the Denver Indian Family Resource Center, as well as a Strategic Advisor for Casey Family Programs. She serves on several national and local advisory committees and boards, including the National Support Committee for the Native American Rights Fund, the National Advisory Committee for the Capacity Building Center for Tribes, the Board of Directors of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and Advisory Committees to Denver and Adams Counties' ICWA Courts to name just a few.
Americorps VISTA, Spirit of the Sun, Inc.
Director & Natural Resource Director
Organized Village of Kake Transportation
Customary & Traditional Officer
Organized Village of Kake
Keeper of the Circle, Alaska Court Magistrate Judge
Organized Village of Kake
Mike Jackson, (Organized Village of Kake) worked for 25 years as the District Court Magistrate for the Alaska Court System in Kake, Alaska. Mr. Jackson has been involved with the Organized Village of Kake Tribal Court-Keeper of the Circle – Circle Peacemaking for 18 years. He also worked as the Transportation Director, Natural Resource Officer, Substance Officer, and Reality & Trust Director for 27 years. Additionally, Mr. Jackson is the co-owner of the Cedar House Gallery where he is a carver of wood, mother-of-pearl, silver, ivory, stone, serigraphy& graphic Northwest Coast Native Designs. His wife of 44 years, Edna, works as a co-artists on some of my artwork that includes Beadwork by Edna. Growing up in Kake and listening to his elders tell of Kake history & the Story of Creation & Raven's life as it pertains to our history & the of Clans & Crests of the two moieties have inspired Mike’s visions of the characters to come up with my designs of our way of life. He was fortunate to know his Great Grandparents, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles and extended family in his Village, they guide him through out his life in a good way & taught me our Core Community Values-Our Laws of the Land, that we come from.
Chief Law Enforcement Executive (ret.)
Edward Reina, is a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, (Akimel O’odham), a retired Chief Police Executive, who worked for five (5) Tribal Governments, as Chief of Police for four (4), the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe and as Director of Public Safety for the Tohono O’odham Nation.
Edward Reina served on GLOBAL, a Federal Advisory Committee dealing with Criminal Justice Information Sharing, a life time member of the Indian Country Law Enforcement Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, he was the first Tribal Police Chief to serve as President of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, served as chairman of the Indian Country Law Enforcement Section (AZ Tribal Police Chiefs), Chairman, Juvenile Justice Working Group of Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, and served as a member of National Task Force on Juvenile Justice for Native American and Alaska Native, he is a Board member of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and is a current member of the Tribal Issues Advisory Group for the United States Sentencing Commission.
Edward Reina Chaired and Co-authored “Crime in Indian Country Report April 1994” presented to US Attorney General Janet Reno, and chaired the Planning and Development, of the 2001 IACP summit “Improving Safety in Indian Country”, a report that is still used by the US Department of Justice.
University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Alaska Native & Rural Development
Hopi Appellate Court
Pat Sekaquaptewa joined the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in its Department of Alaska Native Studies & Rural Development in 2015. Her academic research and teaching areas include: rural and Native economic and community development, tribal sovereignty, governance, and management, and tribal courts and conflict transformation. She is also a nationally known presenter and trainer on tribal law, court development, and conflict resolution topics. She presently serves as a tribal judge, arbitrator, and mediator and sits as a justice on the Hopi Tribe’s high court in Arizona. Formerly she served as the co-founder and Executive Director of the Nakwatsvewat Institute, a non-profit and tribal community mediation program on the Hopi Reservation. Prior to that she served as the director of the UCLA Native Nations Law and Policy Center and its Tribal Legal Development Clinic, part of the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, CA. As director of the law clinic she provided instruction in, and supervised legal clinical projects on, tribal constitution and statutory drafting, tribal judging and the development of tribal common law, and in tribal court development. She co-founded the Tribal Law & Policy Institute with Jerry Gardner in 1996, has served as TLPI’s Associate Director, as an ongoing consultant, and she continues to serve on its board of directors. In the spring of 2014, she moved with her husband and son to Fairbanks, Alaska. Her husband, Dr. George Rice works as a private family practice doctor in Fairbanks.