Ms. Yepa is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Jemez located in north central New Mexico. Ms. Yepa has numerous years of experience working in tribal communities and first became interested in Native American policy and tribal law at a young age. She is an alumni of the Leadership Institute’s intensive policy program for Native youth, where she was nominated to attend the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues as a youth representative in 2009.
In 2013, Ms. Yepa received a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from Mount Holyoke College located in western Massachusetts. She subsequently received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law in May 2018. During law school, Ms. Yepa clerked for her tribal court and worked on criminal law, property law, family law and children’s law within the context of Pueblo culture and tradition. Also during law school, Ms. Yepa interned with New Mexico Legal Aid’s Indian Law Program. There, Ms. Yepa assisted attorneys with drafting and legal research in criminal law, torts law and family law. In her last year of law school, Ms. Yepa represented tribal clients in the Southwest Indian Law Clinic as well as in the Natural Resources Law Clinic on various issues in criminal law, family law, probate law and property law. During her time as a clinical law student, Ms. Yepa drafted the first wildlife code for the Pueblo of Jemez.
When Ms. Yepa is not working on policy and legal issues, she is spending time with her family, practicing her Pueblo Indian culture and serving as a counselor for the Native American Youth Empowerment youth council which provides Jemez children ages 13-18 a platform for volunteering, community action and youth advocacy.
J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2018.