The Honorable Holly T. Bird is a lawyer in Traverse City, Michigan, concentrating on Native American law and cannabis law, employment and business law matters. The Honorable Bird has served as an Associate Supreme Court Judge for the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians since 2010. From 2008-2011, she was an Acting Chief Judge / Associate Judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The Honorable Bird is a certified Mediator, Peacemaker, Arbitrator, and serves as a pro-tem Appellate Judge for various Tribes.
Honorable Bird has participated in many public interest legal endeavors, including:
- Founded and served as Vice-President, President, and President-Emeritus of the Illinois Native American Bar Association, and is credited for using her advocacy to remove offensive sports mascots from several Illinois schools.
- Served as the Civil Ground Coordinator for the Water Protectors Legal Collective, the leading legal service at the NoDAPL camp/protest in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She continues her service for WPLC as an officer of the Board.
- Founded and serves as the Executive Director for the MI Water Protectors Legal Task Force, a project of the National Lawyer’s Guild.
- Serves as a board member and mentor for the Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden; and has volunteered for the Leelanau Children’s Center and the Pathfinder School.
- Serves on the American Indian Law Committee of the Michigan State Bar and served on the State Supreme Court’s Court Rules Committee with respect to the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act.
Honorable Bird has authored the publications: “Jumping Through Hoops: Traditional Healers and the Indian Health Care Act,” (1999) and “Making the Cross-Cultural Case; Educating the Judge about Race, Religion, and Ethnicity” (2004). Additionally, she has provided trainings on Native American Law and culture to the Illinois State Prosecutor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, and the Interfaith Council for Social Justice. Honorable Bird was featured in the Illinois Department of Labor’s March 2000 “Highlights of the Progress of Women and Minorities in the Workforce.”
Hon. Bird is descended from the San Felipe Pueblo/Yaqui/Apache tribes and the English Isles. She resides in Traverse City, Michigan with her husband, former Grand Traverse Band Tribal Councilor Percy Bird, and three children. Hon. Bird graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in 1987. She attended Michigan State University, where she graduated with a B.A. in art and social science. In 1999, she graduated from DePaul University College of Law, where she served as the Native American Representative and President of the Latino Law Students Association. She is a member of the American Indian Law Section and the Marijuana Law Section of the Michigan State Bar.