Char-Koosta News

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Stevenson receives NALSA Award

Dan Knudsen joins Evelyn Stevenson in Missoula last April. (courtesy photo) Dan Knudsen joins Evelyn Stevenson in Missoula last April. (courtesy photo)

MISSOULA ó On Thursday, April 17, as part of an evening with Native American Law Student Association, a University of Montana School of Law student organization, many friends and colleagues in law gathered to honor Evelyn Stevenson for her life-long dedication of working with Indian families. NALSAís Indian Law Week this year focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act and its role in tribal cultural preservation.

Tribal Council Representative Patty Stevens, left, CSKT Chief Appellate Judge Winona Tanner, and Evelyn's son Craig joined Evelyn at her honoring. (courtesy photo) Tribal Council Representative Patty Stevens, left, CSKT Chief Appellate Judge Winona Tanner, and Evelyn's son Craig joined Evelyn at her honoring. (courtesy photo)

Evelyn was selected to be the recipient of the 2014 Mi-Ha-Ka-Ta-Kis Award because of her demonstrated dedication, commitment, tireless advocacy and support for preserving Indian families and tribal culture through compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. Evelyn was presented with the Nike N7 Pendleton blanket whose design reflects three arrows pointing back to signify past generations - three arrows pointing forward to signify future generations - and arrows in the center to represent the current generation. Eldena Bear Donít Walk, CS&KT Chief Appellate Judge, indicated how fortunate she has been to be guided by Evelyn when dealing with Indian Child Welfare matters. Tribal Attorney, Brian Upton talked about Evelynís national reputation regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act and how she had been consulted on child welfare issues by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians when he worked there.

Eldena Bear Don't Walk presents Evelyn with a Pendleton Blanket to honor her service to native people. (courtesy photo) Eldena Bear Don't Walk presents Evelyn with a Pendleton Blanket to honor her service to native people. (courtesy photo)

In addition to NALSAís gift, Evelyn was given a star quilt by CSKT Chief Judge Winona Tanner, CSKT Tribal Councilmember Patty Stevens and Bev Swaney for her dedicated years of service with the Tribe and the support she has given them throughout their careers. They spoke of how Evelynís role as a mentor, leader and friend changed the direction of their lives. The honoring concluded with Evelynís son Craig sharing how his motherís work had impacted his life and how proud he and his sister Tisa are of her lifelong work helping Indian families. The Tribes are very fortunate and blessed to have Evelyn Stevenson as a leader representing them on child welfare matters. For the last three decades she has dedicated her life to Indian children and families and is well-respected both locally and nationally.

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