Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council appoints Shaw as chief judge

01.29.2015 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Tribal Employees

Tribal Council appointed David Shaw as Tribal Court chief judge for a two-year term running through January 2017 at its Wednesday, Jan. 14, meeting.

Shaw was hired as interim chief judge in May 2014 and recently had his interim status extended through Jan. 31.

Shaw succeeds Suzanne Ojibway Townsend, who had been Tribal Court chief judge since 2006 and announced her desire to retire at the end of her most recent two-year contract.

Shaw owns Shaw Law Group in Portland. His online resume states that he has a national reputation for his expertise in business development with Tribes and Native organizations.

He has been a speaker on economic development in Indian Country before the American Bar Association, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Northwest Tribal Lending Institutions Association and National Indian Gaming Association.

He also is a former Court of Appeals judge for Grand Ronde and served on the Executive Committee for the Indian law section of the Oregon State Bar. He also was an in-house counsel for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state.

Shaw is a graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Washington School of Law.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  •        Approved a contract between the Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department and the Oregon Judicial Case Information Network;
  •        Approved the Jurassic Park Logging Unit and the associated donation of logs for a new log arena at Uyxat Powwow Grounds;
  •        Appointed Eva Simmons to the Fish and Wildlife Committee and Violet Folden to the Social Services Committee;
  •        Authorized applications for a $50,000 Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country grant from the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and a $10,000 Problem Gambling Prevention grant from the Oregon Health Authority;
  •        And approved the enrollment of two infants into the Tribe because they meet eligibility requirements.

Also included in the Jan. 14 Tribal Council packet where authorizations to proceed that changed the time of the Sunday, Feb. 1, General Council meeting to 10 a.m., and gave Natural Resources Department Manager Michael Wilson permission to apply for a $63,302 Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Youth Initiative Program grant and an Oregon Youth Conservation Corps grant not to exceed $20,000.

The meeting, in its entirety, can be viewed on the new Tribal website,, under the News tab and then click on the Video link.