Montana International Film Festival | Billings, MT Sept 19-23, 2018


Tribal Justice

Screening Time:
Babcock theater, Sept 15, 2018 | 11:15 am

Directed by Anne A Makepeace | Documentary Feature | USA, 90 mins | Montana Premiere

Tribal Justice is a feature documentary about a little known, underreported but effective criminal justice reform movement in America today: the efforts of tribal courts to create alternative justice systems based on their traditions. In California, the state with the largest number of Indian people and tribes, two formidable Native American women are among those leading the way. Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe on the northwest coast, and Claudette White, Chief Judge of the Quechan Tribe in the southeastern desert, are creating innovative systems that focus on restoring rather than punishing offenders in order to keep tribal members out of prison, prevent children from being taken from their communities, and stop the school-to-prison pipeline that plagues their young people.



The short film Mud (Hashtł'ishnii) will play before Tribal Justice.

Directed by Shaandiin Tome | Short Film | USA, 10 min | Montana Premiere

On her last day, Ruby faces the inescapable remnants of alcoholism, family, and culture.

Mud premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


  • American Indian Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature
  • Charlotte Film Festival - Social Justice Award and Best Documentary Feature
  • Montreal First People's Festival, Grand Prix Rigoberta Menchu