In October 2018, Tribal Citizen Devon O’Reilley was honored at the 49th
annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference for her dedication, and success in the growth of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Tribal Court. The Tribal Court has grown its capacity, both in funding and staffing since Devon took on the role of Tribal Court Administrator in 2016. The President of the National American Indian Court Judges Association, Judge Richard Blake nominated Devon and shares the following excerpt from his nomination letter:
I strongly believe that Devon does not expect to be honored for her job duties. However, I strongly believe that in addition to making her way up from Court Clerk to Court Administrator and hopefully in the future Is that Devon O’Reilly will be the 1st tribal member Chief Judge, as I have the strong opinion that she possesses the qualities of a fine Judge. It this type of upward mobility and hard work that needs to be acknowledged and supported and providing an opportunity for tribal members to assume critical positions and maintaining their custom and tradition.
As a strong Tolowa woman, Devon is not only a great tribal member, a dedicated court employee, a great advocate and very strong role model to not only her four daughters but all young women in her tribe. An advocate for tribal member children and elders, Devon clearly maintains that population as very important. Her desire to develop a youth wellness court resulted in the research for funding.
About the association: the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) is comprised of tribal justice personnel & others devoted to supporting and strengthening tribal justice systems through education, information sharing, and advocacy. NAICJA is a non-profit corporation established in 1969 as a corporation in the state of Delaware following the enactment of the federal Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Act required tribes to follow certain requirements similar to those in the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. Tribal courts are the forums where those rights are enforced. NAICJA’s mission is to strengthen and enhance tribal justice systems.