On Wednesday, April 17, the Navajo Nation Council voted 17–1 on a bill to confirm Doreen N. McPaul ’95 as attorney general of the Navajo Nation.
McPaul was one of 12 individuals appointed to the Navajo Nation administration by president Jonathan Nez upon his inauguration in January. The appointments were made alongside vice president Myron Lizer.
“We assessed their academic and professional accomplishments and experience, but most importantly, we examined their character and their passion to help our people and our Nation,” Nez said of his appointees at the inauguration ceremonies.
Because numerous appointed positions, including that of attorney general, require a confirmation by the council, McPaul’s office remained unofficial until the council’s spring session, which took place April 15–19.
Council members Edmund Yazzie, Herman M. Daniels, and Mark Freeland co-sponsored the bill presented at the spring session to confirm McPaul’s appointment.
Prior to her appointment as attorney general, McPaul worked as a lawyer in many tribal governments — including the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community — and founded the nonprofit organization Tribal In-house Counsel Association (TICA) in 2012.
According to the first article of the organization’s by-laws, TICA’s goals are “protecting and promoting tribal sovereignty and self-determination through the sharing of diversified knowledge and experience by in-house counsel who work for tribes and tribal entities.”
As attorney general, McPaul hopes to continue “advocating and supporting tribal lawyers.”
“I've been serving other communities for over a decade. I think I've been representing myself well and representing the Navajo Nation well in all of those outside contexts,” McPaul said upon her confirmation, according to Farmington Daily Times. “I just ask that you allow me to continue in this role as the attorney general and to serve the Navajo Nation well.”
The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe in North America by land area, and second largest by population behind the Cherokee Nation.
After graduating from the University with an A.B. degree in English in 1995, McPaul received her J.D. from Arizona State University in 2001.
McPaul did not respond to request for comment by the time of publication.