National | Politics

Carol Evans makes history as first woman to lead Spokane Tribe

Carol Evans is the first woman to serve as chair of the Spokane Tribe in Washington.

The Spokane Tribe of Washington is making history.

Carol Evans has been selected by her colleagues on the council to serve as chair. She is the first woman in that position.

“I came in to be a servant of the tribe," Evans said. "I’m excited to be a role model. I believe my duty is to take direction from the council to keep us on track moving toward our common vision.”

The post is the second time Evans, a mother of four, has made history for the tribe. In 1983, she was the first woman ever elected to the council.

Evans served two terms at the time and more recently joined the council in 2013. She rose to the position of vice chair before securing the top leadership position.

“When you look at our history, the chiefs were men, but women were movers even without the title," Evans observed. "They were a vital part of the community, but not to a point of being a chieftess.”

Evans plans to emphasize language as she leads the tribe for the next year. She also plans to tackle housing, employment and substance abuse .

“We have drug addiction and high unemployment," Evans said. "We need to address these issues to help our people heal. Our elders say, bring back the salmon and culture, and you will heal.”

Evans previously worked as executive director of the tribe's housing authority. She also was the chief financial officer for the tribe for 28 years.

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