August 16, 2022

Michigan Indian Legal Community Mourns Passing of Jim Keedy

The Michigan Indian legal neighborhood is mourning the passing of Jim Keedy, who served as the govt director of Michigan Indian Lawful Companies (MILS) for 30 several years just before his retirement in 2018. Keedy passed absent from difficulties from COVID pneumonia this earlier Tuesday. Keedy was 69.

In the course of his extensive tenure foremost Michigan Indian Authorized Services, a statewide company of lawful solutions to income-qualified Indigenous People in america and tribes, the group assisted six Michigan Indian tribes gain their federal reaffirmation—recognition—and countless Michigan Native American households with Indian Baby Welfare Act and Michigan Indian Spouse and children Preservation Situations.

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A product or service of Wyandotte, Mich., Keedy grew to become acquainted with Michigan Indian worries when he labored on a tribal enrollment/disenrollment scenario whilst functioning at UAW-Ford Authorized Solutions in 1987,

“He contacted MILS attorneys at the time for insights and guidance. Coupled with his appreciate of history, he was hooked and jumped ship and joined the workers at MILS by the conclusion of 1987. Choose Mike Petoskey (Ottawa) was hired as the new govt director of MILS around the exact time as when Jim joined the workers. When Mike remaining that position, Jim was the clear selection supplied his prior encounter handling a authorized assist place of work in Jackson,” Cameron Fraser (Delaware Tribe of Indians), MILS’ present-day executive director, said to Indigenous News Online.

The clear alternative lasted for around 30 years. After stepping down as MILS’ govt director, Keedy remained on the workers. Through his very long background at MILS, Keedy grew to become properly highly regarded for his robust commitment to ensuring Indigenous People in america robust lawful representation.

Matthew L.M. Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), the editor of Turtle Converse and professor at Michigan Condition University’s College or university of Law, spoke about Keedy’s devotion to preserving tribal sovereignty for Michigan tribes.

“It’s so sad. Jim was a sovereignty warrior, element of the 1st wave lawyer ogitchidaawaag that helped convey Michigan tribes out of the hell of administrative termination. He will be greatly missed and remembered for several generations,” Fletcher said.

Eva Kennedy (Oneida), who was on the MILS board of director considering the fact that the 1970s, remembers Keedy as a truthful and light male.

“He was a fantastic man who constantly needed to assist men and women,” Kennedy explained. “And, he helped a total ton. He experienced a love for Native People.”

Tanya Gibbs, companion at Rosette, LLC law agency in Grand Rapids, Mich., remembers interacting with Keedy at conferences during the a long time.

“I was so unhappy to hear the news about Jim’s passing! He was a excellent advocate for tribes and Native people. He will unquestionably be missed!” Gibbs stated.

Fraser reflected Keedy was in a position to seek the services of prime notch staff and regulate lots of massive personalities, all the although maintaining the business fiscally stable – which is no modest feat. He gave his team totally free reign to do excellent function, while however making certain compliance with all the bureaucratic procedures that govern lawful providers.

“On a a lot more individual be aware, I will miss out on Jim greatly. I first achieved Jim when I was an intern at MILS in the summer time of 1998 and he rehired me as a team attorney in 2007. He was passionate about the lawful difficulties and serving the wants of the shoppers although making sure that all arguments designed ended up very well grounded and legally supported. He was likely never happier than when he was knee deep in authorized or historical exploration – with textbooks and papers piled on all sides of him,” Fraser reported.

Keedy was a graduate of Michigan Condition College and Wayne State College Regulation Faculty. He was the previous chair and member of the Indian Regulation Part of the Point out Bar of Michigan, a member of the Point out Bar’s American Indian Regulation Committee, and formerly ex officio member of the Steering Committee and treasurer of the Nationwide Affiliation of Indian Lawful Companies.

He was the 2018 National Legal Assist and Defender Association’s Pierce-Hickerson Award. 

A funeral mass will be held for Keedy on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2022 at 11 a.m. at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Acme, Mich.

Michigan Indian Authorized Providers will rejoice the life of their longtime chief on his 70th birthday, February 23, 2022 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time:

Meeting ID: 861 0475 7584




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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Country) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native Information On line. He can be achieved at [email protected]