Court of General Jurisdiction (Tribal Court)
The judicial power of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians is vested in a tribal court system composed of a court of general jurisdiction, called the Tribal Court, and an appellate court, called the Tribal Appellate Court. All the Judges of the Tribal Court and Tribal Appellate Court combined make up the Judiciary. The chief judge and associate judge preside over all civil and criminal cases in Tribal Court arising under the tribal constitution, statutes, regulations, or judicial decisions of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Tribal Court’s jurisdiction is based upon the Tribe’s inherent sovereignty, traditional custom, and federal law. Below are brief biographies of the current Chief and Associate Judges.
Chief Judge, Allie Greenleaf Maldonado
Allie Greenleaf Maldonado is a Citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with honors from the City University of New York Bachelorette Program. She graduated in the top third of her class from the University of Michigan (UM) Law School. While at UM, she earned a place as a Contributing Editor for the University of Michigan Law Review. She was a Kellog Foundation Fellow, Voelker Foundation Fellow, A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholar, and Joseph Seiger Scholar. Upon graduation she won the University of Michigan Jane L. Mixer Award for public service.
After graduation, Ms. Maldonado was selected through the highly competitive Honors Program at the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to become a litigator in the Indian Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. Upon her swearing in at DOJ, she was informed that she was only the 15th enrolled tribal citizen to ever enter the DOJ through its prestigious Honors Program since its inception in the 1950's.
In September of 2002, Ms. Maldonado returned home and accepted the position of Assistant General Counsel for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians where she served the Tribe up until her appointment as Chief Judge. Ms. Maldonado is recognized as an expert on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). She has worked closely with the State Court Administrative Office to bring Michigan into compliance with ICWA for the first time since the Act’s passage. Her writings about ICWA have been published nationally and she has been called upon numerous times to speak about and provided training on ICWA.
Ms. Maldonado is honored to serve LTBB as Chief Judge.
Associate Judge, James Genia
Judge Jim Genia is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and currently serving as Chief Appellate Justice. Jim is the owner of ANIMIKI LLC, a business which provides lobbying and legal services to Tribes in the State of Minnesota. He formerly was head of the Indian law practice group at the Minneapolis, Minnesota, law firm of Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP. In 1999, Genia was one of nine attorneys named an Attorney of the Year by the Minnesota Lawyer publication. Prior to joining the law firm, Justice Genia served as the Solicitor General for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe from 1993 to 1999 and Deputy Solicitor from 1992 to 1993. While at Mille Lacs, Genia helped successfully litigate a lawsuit against the State of Minnesota which was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court and upheld several Tribes' hunting, fishing and gathering rights under an 1837 treaty with the United States.
In addition, Judge Genia served as a law clerk to State District Court Judge Jack Litman in Duluth, Minnesota, prior to joining the Mille Lacs Band in 1992. Genia serves on the board of directors of the Johnson Institute Foundation of Washington, D.C. and St. Paul, Minnesota, and is a former chair of the board of directors of Woodlands National Bank and a former board member of the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Indian law and treaty rights at St. Cloud State University and NAES College in Minneapolis.
Judge Genia earned his law degree in 1990 from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. For its centennial in 2000, Jim was named one of the law school’s top 100 all-time graduates. After graduating from Como Park High School in 1982, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 1987. Genia was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. His parents were both raised in Charlevoix.
Tribal Appellate Court
The Tribal Appellate Court consists of a chief justice and two associate justices that hear appeals from Tribal Court. All Tribal Appellate Court decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Below are brief biographies of the Appellate Justices.
Appellate Justice: Vacant
Chief Justice Wenona Singel
Justice Wenona T. Singel is a former member of the tribe’s Economic Development Commission. Justice Singel is an enrolled citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Singel is also an Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University College of Law as well as the Associate Director of its Indigenous Law and Policy Center. She is Of Counsel to the law firm of Kanji & Katzen, PLLC, a firm with offices in Ann Arbor and Seattle that specializes in representing tribes in Indian law matters. Justice Singel graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with high honors and Harvard Law School in 1999. She has worked at Dickinson Wright PLLC, Kanji & Katzen PLLC and was an Assistant Professor at University of North Dakota School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Michigan and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Justice George Anthony
Justice Anthony has recently been confirmed as the Elder Appellate Justice beginning in March of 2008. Justice Anthony is filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Gasco-Shepard. Justice Anthony was born in Manistique, Michigan on November 2, 1943. He attended Alpena Community College, Fish Propagation and was a commercial Fisherman since 1958. He joined the army in 1962-1965 and was a paratrooper and finance clerk who was responsible for Officer payroll. Justice Anthony was appointed by the tribal council and was vice-chairman from 2000-2003. Justice Anthony has contributed to previous constitution development and also previously held a position on the Natural Resource Commission and was one of the Chief negotiators involved in the fishery agreement.
LTBB’s Constitution requires that the Judiciary shall employ an Administrator of the Courts and other assistants as may be necessary to aid in the administration of the courts. Below are brief introductions to the Court Administrator and court staff.
Court Administrator, Bernadece Compo
Bernadece is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She was raised by her mother, Frances Compo and Ronald Yob, from Grand Rapids and her late grandparents, Frank Compo and Viola (Shomin) Compo. Bernadece was born and raised in the Grand Rapids Anishnabek community. In high school Bernadece attended and graduated from the Native American Alternative Learning Center. After high school, Bernadece went on to attend Grand Valley State University where she graduated and earned two Master degrees. Bernadece earned both a Master of Science degree with both a Criminal Justice and Social Work focus and also a Master of Public Administration degree with a Criminal Justice focus. Bernadece has been employed with the Tribal Court for nearly ten years. For the first few years of her employment with the tribe she worked as the Probation Officer until she was employed as the Court Administrator. Her previous work experience includes working for the 61st District Court in Grand Rapids and later working for three years as a Youth Specialist for the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center. As the Court Administrator, she is responsible for duties assigned by the Judiciary as well as handling the administrative duties of the Court and supervising the court staff.
Adult Probation Officer/Odawa Adult Healing to Wellness Coordinator, Joseph Lucier
Aanii! I am humbled to serve my community as the Adult Drug Court Coordinator/Probation Officer. I have lived in this area all my life. My Grandmother, Rita Gasco-Shepard, grew up in Indian Town (Harbor Springs) and raised my mother, Vicki Lynn, in Oden, MI. I was also raised in Oden and now reside in Alanson, MI, just down the road from my old stomping grounds, Alanson Littlefield High School. I moved away briefly to continue my education at Bay Mills Community College and Lake Superior State University where I received my Bachelors degree. Since 2007 I have been working for the LTBB in various capacities including, Compensation Analyst, Youth Services Coordinator, and now as a Tribal Court Team Member. I’ve been a part of the LTBB Court since 2008 when I was included on the Odawa Youth Healing to Wellness Team. I hold a passion for a life of Recovery and Spirituality. I recognize my weaknesses and my need for God, Family and Community in order to fulfill my purpose in life. My mission is simply, to make the Creator smile as much as I possibly can and I hope to do just that as I continue to work for the LTBB Government. It has been a pleasure participating within our community and I look forward to what lies ahead for our people. Miigwetch, Joe Lucier
Cultural Resource Advisor, Anthony Davis
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio by my Parents, Louis and Mary (Chingwa) Davis. I have five siblings, two older sisters, one older brother, and two younger brothers. I am married to a wonderful woman, Cathy. We have six children together. I have three children, two sons and a daughter and I am a proud grandfather to nine grandchildren. I am a veteran of the United States Navy, 1977. I received my GED in 1978. I changed my lifestyle in October of 1988 and in that process began intense learning of the Anishinaabe Way of Life. I was employed with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Substance Abuse Program 2002 – 2010. During that tenure I trained for, achieved and maintain my CADC – 1(Certified Addiction Disorder Counselor level 1) certification for counseling through UMICAD(Upper Midwest Indian Council on Addictive Disorders) in 2003. Currently I am employed with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Waabishki-Miigwan Drug Court Program as the Cultural Resources Advisor. The Anishinaabe Heritage has been my goal each day that I awake to Creation. It is with this in mind that I serve the community so that others may enjoy life with their Creator.
Juvenile Probation Officer/Court School Liason, Mary Roberts
Born and raised in Petoskey Michigan by Francis and Ann Stead. Currently reside with my husband Ken Roberts in Brutus, Michigan. I have two sons ( Ryan and Matthew Roberts) and three Grandchildren (Kayleigh, Kenny, and Sofie). Attended and Graduated from North Central Michigan College with an Associate of Arts, Bay Mills Community College with a Certificate in Computer Science, and Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Development. I have worked for LTBB for a combined total of 16 years. In the Executive Branch I worked in the Education Department , Legislative Branch I was a Legislator, Odawa Casino I worked in Marketing, Human Resources, and Executive Department and I am currently in the Judicial Branch as a Probation Officer. I am proud to have the opportunity to serve the community of LTBB.
Clerk I, Joan Tepkeah Jacobs
Joan Tepkeah Jacobs is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Joan grew up in the area north of Port Huron, in the village of Croswell. She and her husband have moved up from Port Huron. They have seven children and six grandchildren. Joan’s husband has served as a firefighter for 30 years, while he was on duty he almost lost his life, she has taken care of and nursed her firefighting hero back to health. Joan has an Associate Degree from Saint Clair County Community College, she has been on the Presidential Honor Roll throughout college. Joan has enjoyed employment throughout her life. Joan is now employed with Tribal government as a Court Clerk, she loves her new position and is ready to serve the community, she is devoted to learning new duties. Joan is a member of the Port Huron Township Recreation Board in Port Huron. Her recent employment at the School District put her in the classroom working with special needs students and assisting with teaching responsibilities. She is a Traditional Dancer and has assisted as Vice-Chair with many Pow Wows in Michigan. Joan enjoys nature, working with children and learning our ancestral culture. She looks forward to being involved in community endeavors and working with the youth.
Court Clerk II, Cynthia Brouckaert
Cynthia Brouckaert is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. She grew up in Cross Village, and graduated from Harbor Springs High School. She and her husband moved up from the Detroit area where they’ve lived for approximately 25 years. They have a daughter and son in-law, and a son attending SVSU. Cynthia is certified through the J. Dalton Institute to perform the duties of Tribal Court Clerk, and has Associate Degrees from NCMC in Petoskey, and Macomb Community College in Warren, MI. She is happy to have returned to the area, and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the tribal community.
Administrative Assistant, Kiley Pawneshing
Kiley Pawneshing is a member of The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Ottawa Indians. She grew up in Stanton Michigan, and graduated from Central Montcalm High School. She was raised by her mother Mary Pawneshing, and moved to Petoskey in 2006. She attended NCMC, and graduated with an Associate’s Degree. She is looking forward to learning more and serving her community.
Domestic Violence Court Docket Project Coordinator, Audrey Perry-Atkinson
Domestic Violence Court Docket Project Coordinator Audrey is a tribal member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and has resided within the LTBB Tribal community for a number of years. Her family is originally from the Bay Shore area. She has seven children and eight grandchildren. Audrey has many years of experience working for Tribal government in the administration, management and development of programs to serve tribal communities. She is active in Elder and Youth activities in our community. Audrey has been attending North Central Michigan College for the past few years and has completed a certificate in Entrepreneurship Essentials and is in the process of completing a certificate in Textiles. She is an artist and focuses her talents on natural dyes, traditional Native American weaving and dance regalia. She is an advocate for peacemaking and a more traditional approach to justice. Audrey looks forward to working within the court system to develop practices that reflect our traditions and are culturally relevant to our community.
8 am to 5 pm
Open To The Public, 9 am to 5 pm
Monday through Friday, except Tribal Holidays
Honorable Allie Greenleaf Maldonado, Chief Judge
Bernadece Compo - Court Administrator
Kiley Pawneshing – Administrative Assistant
Joan Jacobs - Clerk I/Appellate Clerk
Mary Roberts - Juvenile Probation / Community Justice Officer
Joseph Lucier - Adult Probation/ Odawa Adult Healing to Wellness Coordinator
Anthony Davis - Cultural Resource Advisor
APPELLATE COURT (leave message with court)
Honorable Wenona Singel, Chief Appellate Justice
Honorable George Anthony, Appellate Justice
Vacant, Appellate Justice
LTBB Tribal Court
7500 Odawa Circle
Harbor Springs , MI 49740
Main Telephone Number