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Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law

Spring 2024

Matthew Fletcher
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Matthew L.M. Fletcher is the Harry Burns Hutchins Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He teaches and writes in the areas of Federal Indian Law, American Indian Tribal Law, Anishinaabe legal and political philosophy, constitutional law, federal courts, and legal ethics. He sits as the Chief Justice of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. He also sits as an appellate judge for the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, and the Tulalip Tribes. He previously taught at the Michigan State University College of Law (2006 to 2022) and the University of North Dakota School of Law (2004 to 2006). He has been a visiting professor at Arizona, UC-Hastings, Michigan, Montana, and Stanford law schools. He is a frequent instructor at the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indian students. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band.

He was Lead Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of American Indians, completed in 2022. He has published articles in the California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and many others. His hornbook, Federal Indian Law (West Academic Publishing), was published in 2016 and his concise hornbook, Principles of Federal Indian Law (West Academic Publishing), in 2017. Professor Fletcher co-authored the sixth and seventh editions of Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (West Publishing 2011 and 2017) and both editions of American Indian Tribal Law (Aspen 2011 and 2020), the only casebook for law students on tribal law. He also authored Ghost Road: Anishinaabe Responses to Indian-Hating (Fulcrum Publishing 2020); The Return of the Eagle: The Legal History of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Michigan State University Press 2012); and American Indian Education: Counternarratives in Racism, Struggle, and the Law (Routledge 2008). He co-edited The Indian Civil Rights Act at Forty with Kristen A. Carpenter and Angela R. Riley (UCLA American Indian Studies Press 2012) and Facing the Future: The Indian Child Welfare Act at 30 with Wenona T. Singel and Kathryn E. Fort (Michigan State University Press 2009). Professor Fletcher’s scholarship and advocacy has been cited by several times by the United States Supreme Court. Finally, Professor Fletcher is the primary editor and author of the leading law blog on American Indian law and policy, Turtle Talk.

Professor Fletcher graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1997 and the University of Michigan in 1994. He worked as a staff attorney for four Indian Tribes – the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, and the Grand Traverse Band He previously sat on the judiciaries of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; and served as a consultant to the Seneca Nation of Indians Court of Appeals. He is married to Wenona Singel, a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and they have two sons, Owen and Emmett.


  • J.D. University of Michigan Law School, 1997
  • B.A. English Language & Literature University of Michigan, 1994