Tribal Justice

Dir. Anne Makepeace | Documentary | U.S.A. | 2017 | 87 min. 

Discussion to follow with director Anne Makepeace and film subject Chief Judge Claudette White

SUNDAY, March 19, 2017- Chilmark Community Center


Claudette White, of the Quechan in the southern Mojave, and Abby Abinanti, of the Yurok on the north coast of California, are two judges who are forces to be reckoned with, both in and out of the courtroom. They have devoted their lives to bettering those of their tribes. Their focus is on breaking the mold of the criminal justice system. By collaborating with their communities and addressing the underlying causes of each crime, they create more compassionate solutions. Rather than relying on conventional jail sentencing with little or no support or rehabilitation, they forge a path for recovery and help to end the cycle of incarceration.


Anne Makepeace has been a writer, producer, and director of award-winning independent films for more than three decades. Her new film, Tribal Justice, premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February 2017 and has been screened at many film festivals across the country. It will be broadcast nationally on PBS's POV later in the year. Her previous documentary, We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân, about the return of the Wampanoag language, had its broadcast premiere on the PBS series Independent Lens in November 2011.


Claudette White has served as chief judge for the Quechan Tribal Court since 2005. She also rides circuit, serving in tribal courts throughout southern Arizona and California, including those of the Fort McDowell Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, and the Tonto Apache Tribal Courts. She is president of the Arizona Indian Judges Association, and a member of the Arizona Tribal, State, and Federal Court Forum and the newly formed California Tribal Court/State Court Forum. She works closely with families, state court judges, probation officers, and social workers to ensure the best outcomes for families and children.


Thank you to the screening sponsor