Government , Legal

Congresswoman selected as Associate Appellate Justice for Yavapai-Apache Nation

Photo caption: Yavapai-Apache Nation council members swore in Osage Nation Congresswoman Shannon L. Edwards in the council chambers to the position of Associate Appellate Justice. Chairperson Jane Russell-Winiecki (center) administered the Oath of Office to Justice Edwards. Courtesy Photo/Yavapai-Apache Nation News

The Yavapai-Apache Nation has selected Osage Nation Congresswoman Shannon L. Edwards as its new Associate Appellate Justice. She was sworn in by Chairperson Jane-Russell- Winiecki in the Yavapai- Apache Council Chambers in Middle Verde, Arizona. The court system was authorized in 1947 and became staffed with full time employees with the opening of the judicial complex in 1997.

The Tribe’s Constitution establishes judicial independence. The Appellate Court is comprised of three justices who decide appeals based on written record from the Yavapai-Apache Trial Court. The Tribe averages 2-3 appeals annually. Justice Edwards was recently assigned her first appeal, a domestic law case.  

The Yavapai-Apache Nation is a federally recognized tribe whose land base consists of five tribal communities: Middle Verde, Tunlii, Rimrock, Camp Verde and Clarkdale in north-central Arizona. The Secretary of the Interior ratified the Yavapai-Apache Constitution in 1937. There are about 3000 enrolled members, and almost 1000 non-members living in the communities.

Economic ventures for the Tribe include the Cliff Castle Casino Resort and Lodge, a number of restaurants including a Sonic Drive-In, a gas station and convenience store, the Distant Drums RV Park, Yavapai-Apache Sand and Rock, and a construction company.

“I am honored to be selected to assist the Yavapai Apache People in ensuring justice for their members and on their sovereign lands,” Edwards said.