The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC) is pleased to announce that Jill E. Tompkins joined MITSC as the new Executive Director on October 23rd, 2023.

Jill E. Tompkins is a citizen of the Penobscot Nation. She graduated from The King’s College with a B.A. in English and History and was the first Native American to graduate from the University of Maine School of Law. She was also the first Native American woman admitted to law practice in Maine and she has been licensed to practice in the courts of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe as well as the United States Supreme Court and numerous other tribal, federal, and state courts. She has served as a trial and appellate judge in several tribal courts.

Prior to coming to MITSC, Ms. Tompkins was the Court Attorney for the Nonremovable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Court of Central Jurisdiction where she led the establishment of the Band’s Family Healing to Wellness Court which works with families to help them recover from the effects of substance use disorder.

Ms. Tompkins taught at the National Judicial College and organized the annual National Tribal Judicial Conference sponsored by the National American Indian Court Judges Association. She was the first woman to serve as President of the Board of Directors at the National American Indian Court Judges Association. As the founding Executive Director for the National Tribal Justice Resource Center in Boulder, Colorado, Ms. Tompkins provided training and technical assistance for tribal courts throughout Indian Country.

For eleven years as a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, Ms. Tompkins directed the American Indian Law Clinic. She established Colorado Law’s American Indian Law Certificate Program. She has been a frequent lecturer and writer on tribal justice systems, the application of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, and the Maine Indian Land Claim Settlement Act.

Jill resides on Indian Island, Penobscot Nation Reservation and is the mother of two sons and one daughter. She was a founding Board member of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance.

MITSC is deeply indebted to Paul Thibeault who has served the Commission as Managing Director for the last five years. Mr. Thibeault will remain as a short-term consultant to ensure a smooth transition process.