MASHANTUCKET, CT – Women Empowering Women for Indigenous Nations (WEWIN) honored Stacy A. Bohlen, National Indian Health Board (NIHB) CEO and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa, by welcoming her to the Warrior Women’s Circle at the annual Recognition Luncheon at Foxwoods Resort Casino on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation. Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba (Mohegan Tribe), Cheryl Andrews-Maltais (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah), and Tina Marie Osceola (Seminole Tribe of Florida) were also recognized.
The Warrior Women’s Circle honors influential Indigenous women who have impacted Indian Country through their leadership, influencing change, and, increasing awareness for the betterment of the community, nationally, and globally.
“On behalf of the entire NIHB Board of Directors, this honor is well-deserved and we express our gratitude for Stacy’s tireless dedication to our organization that reaches all of Indian Country to improve the health of Native people,” said William Smith, NIHB Chairman (Valdez Native Tribe). “As NIHB celebrates its 50th anniversary year, we are blessed to have Stacy’s leadership and tenacity. We also want to congratulate the other honorees, all of whom have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NIHB over their prestigious careers. It is important for us to lift up our women warriors who brought us into this world, raised us, and center us in Native values. We are grateful to WEWIN and thank Co-Presidents Susan Masten (Yurok) and Veronica Homer (Mohave/Shasta) for empowering the current and next generations of female tribal leaders.”
During the luncheon, Jacqueline Johnson-Pata (Tlingit), WEWIN Board Member, presented the award to Bohlen, remarking, “We all know the work she has done across Indian Country when we see the success of our Indian health programs in our communities. We see the success of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and its appropriations, and the continual improvement of the health and well-being of our citizens across Indian Country … I could go on and talk about what a champion she is in Congress and how she pounds on their doors, how she is a champion with public health entities, the Administration, working with many White Houses and Secretaries for Health and Human Services and Indian Health Service directors … It takes a major warrior to spend time in Washington, D.C., sacrificing to be away from her family and the cultural connection that her home community provides. Every moment she can, she touches in with her tribal leader to find out what is happening at home, and she stays in touch her family – and we know that the other 24-hours in a day, she spends in our behalf, working for our People.”
Bohlen joined NIHB in 2004 as its Legislative Director and went on to become the Executive Director and will achieve 18 years at the organization this November. Prior to joining NIHB, she was the Director of Federal Relations for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Deputy Director of the American Osteopathic Association’s Washington, D.C. Office, and served on the staff of former U.S. Congressman Bob Traxler.