(December 13, 2017) – Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is pleased to welcome Kimberly Martus as the Tribe’s new Tribal Appellate Court Administrator.
The newly created position is funded by a grant recently awarded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Tribal Justice Support which is responsible for providing support to tribal justice systems throughout the United States. Working with Tlingit & Haida’s Judiciary Committee and Tribal Court Judges, Kimberly will design, build-capacity, and implement the first unified tribal appellate court system in Southeast Alaska.
“Formation of an appellate court will increase access to justice for tribal citizens and provide for fair and equal administration of tribal justice,” said Presiding Judge Debra O’Gara.
Kimberly has served in several tribal court related capacities including: Associate Appellate Justice with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Court of Appeals; Pro Tempore Judge with the Native Village of Barrow Tribal Court; Tribal Court and Prisoner Reentry Program Manager for the Bristol Bay Native Association; Tribal Court Needs Assessment Project Administrator for Kadiak, LLC and Tribal Court Training Instructor for the University of Alaska’s Tribal Management Program. She has also served as a Guardian Ad Litem in both tribal and state courts and as an Assistant Public Defender representing parents involved in state court child protection cases. Her most recent work involved designing and developing tribal code development training curricula whereby she authored a chapter on “Incorporating Indigenous Law and Custom into Modern Tribal Codes.”
“Development of tribal judiciaries in Alaska is my passion and I am honored and ecstatic about having the opportunity to assist the Tribe with such a progressive and cutting-edge initiative,” said Kimberly.
Kimberly is a member the Tongva Tribe, a descendant of the Cupeno Tribe (coyote clan) and Yaqui Tribes. She grew up in and out of Indian Country and holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies from Evergreen State College. She is the mother of two grown sons and grandmother of two grandchildren.