The Legal Department is responsible for protecting and promoting the development of Tribal sovereignty and self-determination by providing legal services and counsel to the Tribal Council and all departments/sub-divisions of the Tribal Government. The client of the Legal Department is the Tribe, although Legal Department staff takes its primary policy direction from the Tribal Council. The Legal Department strives to support the efforts of the Tribal Council in a number of areas including drafting legislation, drafting Tribal Council resolutions with emphasis placed on preparing draft Tribal Codes and updating Tribal Codes. The Legal Department supports the Tribal Council and all Departments within the Tribal government by reviewing/revising draft policy documents and reviewing/drafting contract documents for goods and services purchased by the Tribal government. The Legal Department also provides general legal advice to Tribal Council and Department heads as requested/required. The Legal Department currently oversees implementation of the Tribal-State Tax Agreement and serves as liaison between the Michigan Department of Treasury and Tribal members regarding issues relating to tax benefits accruing to Tribal members under the Tax Agreement. The Legal Department also provides legal services to Waseyabek Development Company and manages the work of outside counsel retained by the Tribe and outside counsel retained under applicable insurance policies to defend claims within the scope of insurance coverage.



Bill Brooks

Chief Legal Officer


Heather Chapman

Senior Staff Attorney


Elizabeth Cook

Staff Attorney


Justin Derhammer

Associate Staff Attorney


Rebecca Griffin

Legal Assistant



Michigan Indian Legal Services, Inc.
814 S. Garfield Ave., Suite A
Traverse City, MI 49686
Office: (231) 947-0122
Toll Free: (877) 968-6877
Fax: (231) 947-3956

Michigan Indian Legal Services provides legal services to low income Indian individuals and tribes to further self- sufficiency, overcome discrimination, assist tribal governments and preserve Indian families.

Legal Services Organization of South Central Michigan
70 Michigan Avenue
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Office: 269-965-3951

Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) provides free legal advice and representation in certain civil cases to approximately 10,000 low income persons and senior citizens (regardless of income) each year. Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) provides general civil legal services to low-income and senior citizens of Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Shiawassee, and Washtenaw Counties. They also provide legal services to senior citizens of St. Joseph County.

Turtle Talk Blog – Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University

Visit Website

Turtle Talk posts news items related to Indian law and politics, with a special emphasis on topics related to Indian Tribes in Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Turtle Talk offers links to Supreme Court cases involving federal Indian law, primary documents key to Michigan Anishinaabe legal and political history and links to all kinds of scholarship about the Anishinaabek and Anishinaabe tribes.

Tax Department:

Tax agreement

First Amendment to Tax Agreement

Second Amendment to Tax Agreement

Third Amendment to Tax Agreement

Fourth Amendment to Tax Agreement

PDF of Tax PowerPoint Presentation

Fuel Tax Exemption Registration Form

Map of tax agreement area

For tax-related questions, please contact Rebecca Griffin: 269-704-8371 or

Constitution & Code

View the Constitution & Code page, click here.