Theresa M. Pouley
Theresa M. Pouley is the Associate Justice of the Colville Court of Appeals, Chief Judge of the Tulalip Tribal Court, and is the former Chief Judge of the Lummi Tribal Court. As a Judge of the Northwest Intertribal Court System, she serves as a trial judge and appellate court justice for several other Northwest tribes.
Judge Pouley was appointed to the Indian Law & Order Commission by President Obama in 2011. She formerly served as the President of the Northwest Tribal Court Judges Association and formerly served on the Board of Directors for the National American Indian Court Judges Association. She has worked and lectured with the Washington State Office of Administrator of Court’s in the area of Domestic Violence and Indian Law for the last several years. She was a presenter to the United States Supreme Court Justices O’Conner and Breyer on “Indigenous Justice Paradigms.” She provided Testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on “Challenges in Law Enforcement in Indian Country” in 2000, the “Oversight Hearings on Tribal Courts” in 2007, and “Tribal Law and Order Act,” one year later in 2011.
She frequently lectures at local, state and national conferences on Tribal Courts and Indian Law issues. She was selected by the Washington Supreme Court to sit on the “Historical Court of Justice” which reviewed and exonerated Chief Leschi in 2004. She was awarded the National Tribal Child Support’s Award for Outstanding Judge in 2005. Tulalip Tribal Court was awarded the Harvard Honoring Nations Award in 2006 for its focus on its therapeutic and indigenous approaches to criminal law.
Judge Pouley graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 1987, was admitted to the Michigan Bar and Washington Bar. She has been an attorney for over 20 years and in her practice had a variety of roles including private practice in Michigan and Washington and teaching Indian Law at local community colleges and the Northwest Indian College. She is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in eastern Washington. [Source: Tulalip Tribes]