Domestic Violence

Firekeeper's Daughter Presentation 

with Angeline Boulley & Special Legal Guests (Prof. Carlson, Hon. Fabry, Hon. Pope, & Jeff Davis)

Contact MILS

If you need assistance seeking a PPO through a tribal court, please contact MILS at 231-947-0122. 

Starting August 1, 2023, MILS has an Equal Justice Works, Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow on staff for 2 years to work in the Tribal Court systems with victims of crime (with a focus on domestic violence).

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

In the state of Michigan there are 12 federally recognized tribes. Each tribal court has their own Tribal Codes, Court Rules, and internal procedures.  Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was updated in 2022, tribes exercising VAWA 2013 Criminal Jurisdiction continue to have Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction over non-Indian defendants who (1) violate a qualified Personal Protection Order within Indian country of that tribe; (2) violates a provision of a protection order that prohibits or provided protection against one or more of the following: (a) violent or threatening acts or harassment against, (b) sexual violence against, (c) contact or (d) communication with, or physical proximity to, another person; and (3) the PPO was issued against the defendant, and (6) is consistent with section 2265(b) of title 18, of the U.S. Code.  

All tribes have “full civil jurisdiction” to issue and enforce protection orders involving any person, including non-Indians. However, when a person violates the PPO, the tribal government may only bring criminal charges against the non-Indian defendant if they are exercising Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction in compliance with VAWA 2022. As of January 2023, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians are currently exercising Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction over non-Indians under VAWA 2022. While all tribes have a right to punish non-Indians using civil sanctions (e.g. exclude violators from Indian land, charging fines, etc.), those who comply with VAWA 2022, may hold non-Indian defendants criminally responsible for violating qualifying personal protection orders. 18 US Code 2265(e). 

Other Sources of Legal Help

Sources of Non-Legal Assistance

1) Protections under Michigan law

Michigan Legal Help has information about Domestic Violence and Personal Protection Orders

2) Protections afforded under the 12 Tribal Jurisdictions

 (all the below know your rights pamphlets need to be updated in light of expanded juridiction under VAWA 2022) 

Bay Mills Indian Community

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians Gun Lake Tribe

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

3) Military Protection Orders provides a guide to military protection orders.

Additional Information