OKMULGEE, Ok— In an Extraordinary Session the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council approved the nomination of Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) to the District Tribal Court Civil Division of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation on August 4.
Legislation to approve Leeds passed unanimously during a remote session. Robert Hufft sponsored the bill and motioned for its approval. James Jennings seconded the motion.
Leeds was on the call to talk with the council about her experience where she pointed out her long history of civil matters and roots with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Leeds has presided in nine different tribal court systems and became the first Indigenous woman to lead a law school in 2011. She is Dean Emeritus during the 2020-2021 academic year with the University of Arkansas as she takes leave of absence to work on writing and public service projects.
‘Some of you might remember the tobacco litigation back in the 1990’s, the Phillip Morris litigation, that was my first exposure to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Judicial system,’ Leeds said.
Leeds holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin (LL.M.) and the University of Tulsa (J.D.), a business degree from the University of Tennessee (M.B.A)., and an undergraduate degree in history from Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.).
Her early career experience involved working with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
‘My work with Creek Nation goes back 25 years,’ Leeds said. ‘When I was law student at University of Tulsa one of my first jobs was working with Judge Moore at the District Court.’
Leeds was recently one of the top experts for Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Programs webinar held on July 20. The webinar featured important information concerning the recent SCOTUS opinion on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation.
She is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award and an elected member of the American Law Institute. She is a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow affiliated with the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University and a former Sequoyah Fellow at Northeastern State (OK) University.
A teacher and scholar of American Indian law and policy, her most recent book Mastering American Indian Law Second Ed., co-authored with Angelique EagleWoman was published in 2019.
Her new book A Matter of Cherokee Justice: Talton v. Mayes, co-authored by Professor Taiawagi Helton will be available in 2021.