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Theresa Stevenson, former FSIN senator, co-founder of Chili for Children, dies

Theresa Stevenson founded “Chili for Children” in Regina in the 1980s, which still provides thousands of families with meals to this day.
Theresa Stevenson founded “Chili for Children” in Regina in the 1980s, which still provides thousands of families with meals to this day. Courtesy / Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations

A former Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) senator and well-known leader in Saskatchewan has died.

Theresa Stevenson died Monday at the age of 93.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Senator Theresa Stevenson announced she had passed away,” said Dutch Lerat, FSIN vice chief.

“She will be missed by the many people who loved her dearly and by the thousands of lives she’s touched with her charity work and selflessness. She was married to the late Bob Stevenson and she leaves behind a legacy that has left our world a better place.”

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Stevenson founded “Chili for Children” in Regina in the 1980s, which still provides thousands of families with meals to this day.

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“She was a strong female voice and became a role model to many others by asserting that First Nations women played a lead role in a then, male-dominated time in the 1980s and onward,” FSIN said in a press release.

Stevenson also did extensive work in Regina’s North Central neighbourhood devoting time to its Indigenous youth.

The City of Regina named Theresa Stevenson Park, located in Lakeridge, in her honour for all of her contributions to the community.

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Stevenson was named FSIN Citizen of the Year in 1988, Member of the Order of Canada in 1994, was given the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1995 and received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Community Development in 1999.

“While we are deeply saddened to say goodbye, but we’re happy that she’ll be re-united with her loved ones who passed before her,” Stevenson’s obituary read.

“The family would like to thank the staff at Centennial Lodge in Broadview where she lived for the last four years.”

Stevenson was born June 26, 1927 on the Cowessess First Nation just north of Broadview, Sask. At the age of six, she was removed from her home and placed in the Marieval Residential School until she was 15.

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Stevenson passed away at the Centennial Lodge Care Home in Broadview.

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