Ethel Branch

Attorney General

Ethel Branch was appointed by President Nygren as the 13th Attorney General of the Navajo Nation. Ethel is Bįįh Bitoodnii (Deer Springs Clan) born for the Naakai (Mexican People). She was born in Tuba City (Navajo Nation) and was raised on her family’s ranch 10 miles south of Leupp (Navajo Nation). She previously served as the Navajo Nation’s 11th Attorney General.

Most recently Ethel Co-Founded and served as the Executive Director of Yee Ha’ólníi Doo, which does business as the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund. In March 2020 she mobilized a crowdfunding effort to bring COVID relief to Navajo and Hopi reservation-based families. The effort became a top 5 GoFundMe campaign. Her team provided COVID relief to almost half a million Navajo and Hopi people and opened community centers in Monument Valley (Navajo Nation) and Sheep Springs (Navajo Nation) focused on making Navajo communities pandemic proof for the long term by rebuilding local Navajo food, social, and small business economies and ensuring language and culture transmission to the next generation. Ethel was recognized as one of the 7 unsung heroes of the pandemic by Bill Gates.

As the Navajo Nation's 11th Attorney General, Ethel worked on a broad range of issues that impact Indian Nations. Specifically, she

  • Directly oversaw and coordinated the legal and public relations work associated with the Navajo Nation’s response to the Gold King Mine Spill, Wells Fargo’s unfair business practices on the Nation, President Trump’s attempted revocation and replacement of the Bears Ears National Monument, and abuses by opioids manufacturers and distributors to tribal members.
  • Defended the voting rights of Navajo citizens in state and local elections.
  • Provided guidance and leadership to a litigation team that prevailed in opposing certiorari petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court in two significant Indian law cases.
  • Secured positive rulings in numerous federal courts of appeal and district court cases.
  • Developed documents, delivered a rating agency presentation, and marketed bonds to investors for the Nation’s first Limited Public Offering.
  • Led the effort to strengthen the Nation’s public safety system through better coordination of limited resources and elimination of administrative barriers through reform of the Nation’s Criminal Code and Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  • Launched and oversaw the Nation’s Public Integrity Task Force that focused on developing partnerships, processes, and law and policy changes to allow the Nation to respond more quickly and effectively to reports of white-collar crime and corruption.

Before becoming the Nation's 11th Attorney General, Ethel worked for a private law firm representing Indigenous Nations in sovereign-to-sovereign negotiations and high stakes litigation. Before that she worked in tribal finance and served as bond counsel to the Navajo Nation in the issuance of the first tribal general obligation bond governed by tribal law and enforceable in tribal court (this deal earned the 2011 Native American Finance Officers Association Deal of the Year Award) and the first Tribal Economic Development Bond issued. Ethel also worked to advance indigenous human rights in the United States through her work for a legal non-profit and in her role as Co-Chair of the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

Ethel graduated from Harvard College in 2001, earning her A.B. cum laude in history. In 2008 she received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. While in graduate school, Ethel was a Zuckerman Fellow and Nationbuilding Fellow, and served as a Senior Editor and Article Editor on the Harvard Environmental Law Review.


Heather L. Clah

Deputy Attorney General

Mrs. Heather L. Clah is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. Heather was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Orem, Utah. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University. Heather also received her Juris Doctor and Certificate in Indian Law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Following law school, Heather moved to the Navajo Nation and served in various roles throughout her 18 years of legal experience.

Heather will depart from her role as a Corporate Attorney for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority from which she served from 2015 to 2023 and worked on vital infrastructure projects in all areas of Energy and Water for the Navajo People. Prior to NTUA, she served as Legal Counsel for President Ben Shelly from 2011 to 2015. She has also served as a Court Staff Attorney for the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch in Shiprock, New Mexico from 2008 to 2010, and as an attorney for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice within the Human Services & Government Unit from 2005 to 2008. Her Maternal Clan is Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan) Her Paternal Clan is Tł’ááshchí’í (The Red Bottom People), her Maternal Grandfathers Clan is Táchii’nii (Red Running in the Water) and her Paternal Grandfather’s Clan is Tódích’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Heather is married and has three (3) Children.


Barbara Calvin

Administrative Service Officer

Barbara Calvin is originally from Two Wells, New Mexico and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She is employed with Navajo Nation Department of Justice/Office of the Attorney General since 1984. She has worked with the department in different position as Legal Secretary, Law Librarian, Administrative Assistant and presently as Administrative Services Officer. Previously she worked as Accounting Clerk with private business sectors before joining Navajo Nation Department of Justice. Ms. Calvin is a proud mother of two daughters and grandma to two grand-daughters.


Cynthia Avery

Senior Office Specialist

Cynthia Avery is from Coyote Canyon, N.M. She has been employed with Navajo Nation Dept. of Justice under Office of the Attorney General for 31 years, as an Office Specialist. Previously she was employed in many positions which included working in the hospital setting and public assistance programs. Lastly, she is blessed with two (2) daughters; and is the grandmother to three (3) wonderful grandchildren – whom are her “pride & joy”.


Primeaux Youvella

Sr. Programmer Analyst

Hi, my name is Primeaux Youvella. Naaneesht'ezhi Tachii'nii nishli  Naakai dine'e bashischiin Honaghaahnii dashicheii Kiisʼáanii dashinali. I live in  Window Rock, Az. I am excited to be assisting you with any IT problems or needs. I have been working with the Navajo Nation Government for 9 years now.

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