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Josett D. Monette Headshot

Josett D. Monette

Cabinet Secretary

Josett Monette is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She currently serves as the Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (IAD). As Cabinet Secretary Designate, Josett oversees IAD’s programs, including tribal environmental, tribal consultation, and MMIP initiatives. Prior to joining IAD, Josett was the New Mexico Legal Aid Native American Program Director. The Native American Program serves indigent clients living on or near the Pueblos and provides legal services, mostly in tribal courts, in many areas of law including jurisdictional issues, violations of due process, custody, divorce, child support, defending against debt collections, probate matters, tribal criminal defense, ICWA, tribal housing matters, tribal employment matters, and representing respondent parents in Child in Need of Care matters. Josett is an Adjunct Professor for the University of New Mexico School of Law National Native American Law Student Association (“NALSA”) Moot Court Team. She recently served as a Commissioner for the Pueblo of Tesuque Gaming Commission. Previously, she worked as a Staff Attorney at NMLA Native American Program, an Associate General Counsel for the Pueblo of Isleta, and as an Associate Attorney with Barnhouse, Keegan, Solimon, & West, LLP, an Indian Law Firm in Albuquerque which provides representation to tribes and tribal businesses throughout the country. Josett served on the Board of Directors for the New Mexico State Bar Indian Law Section for seven years and sits as an Attorney Bar Exam Coach. She has assisted with planning several CLE Conferences, most recently including helping to plan the Federal Bar Indian Law Conference. She holds a JD, with a certificate in Indian Law from UNM School of Law, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education – Social Sciences, and B.A. in (American) Indian Studies from the University of North Dakota. Prior to her legal career, Josett was an educator and worked in education mostly on her home reservation in the Turtle Mountain Community. She has three amazing children that she raised as a single mother, and she loves to do Zumba.

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