Barbara Smith


Adjunct Professor
B.S., East Central State University, 1971
M.E., University of Oklahoma, 1987
J.D., Oklahoma City University, 1991

Justice Barbara Anne Smith is a Chickasaw citizen and has been a Supreme Court Justice for the Chickasaw Nation, Ada, Oklahoma since October 1, 2003, and is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court October 1, 2012 through October 1, 2013. Previously, she served the Chickasaw Nation as District Judge. Justice Smith also served as Special Judge for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Courts.

She has a law practice in Norman, Oklahoma with her brother, Michael Colbert Smith, Smith & Smith Attorneys at Law. They have a general practice with concentrations in Social Security Disability Law, Indian Law, Criminal Law, and Family Law issues, with special consultations in Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Courts, and Peacemaking.

Justice Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from East Central State University, Ada, Oklahoma, her master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, and her Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University. Prior to her law career, she taught mathematics at Norman High School and at the University of Oklahoma as an adjunct professor.

She is an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School teaching Tribal Courts, and has been an adjunct professor in the Native American Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma teaching Tribal Sovereignty. 

Justice Smith is on the Board of Directors of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colorado, formerly on the Board of Directors of the National American Indian Court Judges Association, and currently on the Advisory Council for the National Tribal Judicial Center at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

She has made presentations to the Cleveland County Bar Association, the Garvin County Bar Association, the Chickasaw Nation Bar Association, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Mediators, the Association of American Indian Physicians, the Sovereignty Symposium, the National Multi-Jurisdiction Conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, National Gathering of Peacemakers Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Indian Nations Conference in Palm Springs, California, Indigenous Justice Conference in San Diego, California, Montana Mediators Association in Helena, Montana and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Multi-State Regional Meeting.

She has been a facilitator for the Native American Rights Fund Chautauqua Peacemaking Project and is on the Advisory Committee for their current Peacemaking Project. Justice Smith is an alumna of the National Judicial College and joined its faculty in 2004. 

February 2012 Justice Smith traveled to Columbia University Law School, New York City to present Peacemaking and serve on a panel for colloquial on integrating Indian Law into the courses at Rutgers, Columbia University, and Yale.  March 2012 she traveled to Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado to be on a panel discussing Native issues and to make a presentation on Peacemaking.  April 2012 she traveled to the Mohegan Nation in Connecticut to present Peacemaking to the Tribal Council of Elders.  August 2012 Justice Smith presented Protecting the Rights of Juveniles at the Tribal Juvenile Justice Conference in Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Nation in Minnesota for the University of North Dakota Law School Tribal Institute.  Justice Smith has also contributed to articles written by the Center for Court Innovations in New York City.