Anita Fineday (White Earth Band of Ojibwe) currently works for the Casey Family Foundation. From 1997 through 2011, she served as Chief Judge of the White Earth Tribal Court (White Earth Band of Ojibwe), where she played an instrumental role in the Band’s expansion of the jurisdiction and capacity of the Court, which now hears a broad spectrum of both criminal and civil cases. During her illustrious career, she has worked in Indian Country throughout the State of Minnesota, including as a staff attorney with Anishinabe Legal Services, the Executive Director of the Indian Child Welfare Law Center, the Solicitor General of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and as a tribal attorney and associate judge for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
She holds a B.A. in English from Indiana University at Bloomington, a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School (Boulder), and a Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition to being the first Native American woman to argue in the Minnesota Supreme Court, she serves as board chair of the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation and as board secretary of Anishinabe Legal Services.
Fineday dedicates much of her time to mentoring young Indian women in northern Minnesota. She is a marathon runner and founding member of Native Thunder Distance Runners, an Indian running organization.