First American Indian to be appointed to state appellate court

Governor Tim Walz is appointing the first American Indian to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. 

“It is my honor to appoint Sarah Wheelock to the Minnesota Court of Appeals,” said Walz.

“In her time serving as legal counsel for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and tribes across the nation, Ms. Wheelock has repeatedly shown that she is a dedicated public servant committed to advancing the common good. She is well prepared to join the Court of Appeals.”

Wheelock is filing the vacancy which will occur upon the retirement of the Honorable Carol A. Hooten.

“Sarah Wheelock is a brilliant legal mind with a deep understanding of the laws of the land,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.

“Her life experience, longstanding service to her community, and her extensive legal background provide her with a unique perspective that will be invaluable in her new position. I’m thrilled by her appointment.”

“The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association celebrates the historic appointment of Sarah Wheelock to the Court of Appeals,” said Casey Matthiesen, President of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association.

“With this appointment, American Indians now serve at every level of the state judiciary. Sarah Wheelock is an exceptional lawyer, and we are confident that she will serve in the judiciary with distinction.”

 Wheelock, previously an appellate judge for the White Earth Band of Chippewa, is a member of the Meskwaki Nation (federally recognized as the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi) in Iowa.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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