Navajo Nation Council confirms attorney general nominee

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Doreen N. McPaul

FARMINGTON — A lawyer with more than a decade of experience working in tribal governments has been confirmed as attorney general for the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation Council voted 17-1 in favor late Wednesday to confirm Doreen N. McPaul as attorney general.

McPaul was appointed by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez to lead the tribe's Department of Justice in January.

She has 18 years of legal experience, including 11 years working for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Tohono O'odham Nation and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

She received her law degree from Arizona State University and is licensed to practice law in Arizona and New Mexico and on the Navajo Nation.

During the council's spring session in Window Rock, Arizona, McPaul acknowledged her parents, Art and Dottie Hobson, who were in attendance, and shared information about herself, including how she grew up in Chinle, Arizona.

"My values come from my upbringing there, in that small community, surrounded by my relatives," she said.

Among her commitments is advocating and supporting tribal lawyers. One way she is accomplishing this is helping to establish the Tribal In-house Counsel Association.

From left, Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul, Delegate Edmund Yazzie and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez presented legislation to the Navajo Nation Council that sought McPaul's confirmation on Wednesday in Window Rock, Ariz.

The association, started in 2012, provides resources and training to tribal government lawyers.

McPaul sat next to Nez and Delegate Edmund Yazzie, the bill's sponsor.

"We appreciate her coming home and bringing her expertise back to our people," Nez said.

He added that each nominee seeking confirmation this week understands the tribe's needs because they grew up knowing the issues that affect tribal members.

"As president said, 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. "I just ask that you allow me to continue in this role as the attorney general and to serve the Navajo Nation well."

The council has also confirmed Rudy Shebala to head the Division of Natural Resources; Garret Silversmith to lead the Division of Transportation; Pearl Yellowman to oversee the Division of Community Development; Jesse Delmar to head the Division of Public Safety; Lomardo Aseret to manage the Division of General Services; JT Willie to lead the Division of Economic Development; and Jill Jim to oversee the Department of Health.

Delegates still had four nominations to consider as of Thursday afternoon.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at