2021 – Government

Ernie Stevens, Sr., Oneida, served numerous leadership positions including as executive director of the Los Angeles Indian Center, the Institute for Community Anti-Poverty Corporation, the Inter-Tribal Council of California, the Indian Action Project in Arizona, the American Indian Policy Review Commission and served on the LA Human Rights Commission, He was First Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians and the first Staff Director to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. He advocated for sovereignty, self-determination, self-governance and Native rights for nearly half a century. Serving with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Stevens was integral to changing the course of Indian Policy from an era of termination to tribal self-determination. A U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, serving during the Korean War, he earned the Korean Unit citation and the Korean Service medal with three battle stars. He was awarded the Leon Grant Spirit of the Community Award by the Phoenix Indian Center in 2017.