Gov. Whitmer appoints Judge Maldonado as first tribal citizen to Michigan Court of Appeals

Allie Greenleaf Maldonado (Whitmer Administration)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Gov. Whitmer has appointed the first tribal citizen to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Allie Greenleaf Maldonado was appointed Tuesday during the Tribal Summit in Sault Ste. Marie.

“I am humbled and honored to be trusted by Governor Whitmer for this appointment to the Michigan Court of Appeals,” said Judge Maldonado during the summit. “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.”

Maldonado is the Chief Judge for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Trial Court. The judge 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. Following law school, Maldonado was selected to enter the prestigious honors program at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and was the 15th tribal citizen to be chosen. She is also 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.

Maldonado is part of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and a member of the Turtle Clan.

The judge’s term will commence on Jan. 9, 2023, and will expire on Jan. 1, 2025.

“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.”


About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.