J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2020
M.S., University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), 2020
B.A., University of Michigan, 2016


Chicago, IL


[email protected]

John Minode’e Petoskey

Associate Attorney

John Petoskey is an associate attorney working in ELPC’s Chicago office. John focuses on issues related to clean water, environmental justice and natural resources protection. He previously served as an Indigenous Human Rights Fellow at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in 2019. In this role, John worked with a global cohort of indigenous environmental activists to understand how to best utilize the international human rights system to advocate for indigenous interests. He is currently a member of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice where he advises the Whitmer administration on natural resource and water policy. During law school John was an Articles Editor for the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law and President of the Native American Law Student Association. John is an enrolled citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and grew up on his tribe’s reservation in Peshawbestown, MI.

What’s a place you love in the Midwest?

Kitchiwikwedong (Git-chee-wik-way-dong) means “a great bay” in the Anishinaabe language and is what my people call our homeland of the Leelanau Peninsula. When I am there I enjoy hiking the Sleeping Bear Dunes, swimming in the lake at Cathead Bay, and napping by the slow trickling springs that my ancestors and people have taken care of for hundreds of generations.

What drives you to do this work?

I carry my homeland in my heart in all the work that I do. The reason I am working in the field of environmental advocacy is simple: to protect our homeland and the Great Lakes for the coming seven generations, just as my ancestors seven generations ago preserved our homeland for me.