(CBS DETROIT) - Judge Allie Greenleaf Maldonado has made history as the first tribal citizen to be appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Maldonado currently serves as the chief judge of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Trial Court. She also served as a pro tem judge for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
She was appointed to the Court of Appeals Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The appointment fills a partial term following the retirement of Judge Amy Ronayne Krause.
"I am humbled and honored to be trusted by Governor Whitmer for this appointment to the Michigan Court of Appeals," Maldonado said in a press release. "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's new role is effective Dec. 13 and ends on Jan. 1, 2025. She may run for reelection in November 2024.
"It was an honor to attend the Tribal Summit in the Sault," Whitmer said in a press release. "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."
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