Because honestly it was just too much to post about both Judge White and Judge Hager on the same day.
He always wanted to stop and talk about ICWA with me, and I was lucky for that.
The National American Indian Court Judges Association is heartbroken to announce the death of Judge C. Steven Hager, Board of Directors Region 1. Judge Hager served as an elected board member since 2017. Judge Hager was the Chief Judge for the Kickapoo Nation in Kansas and served on the Supreme Court for the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma. During his tenure on the Board of Directors, Judge Hager was an invaluable resource to our Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance Project and thoughtful jurist who helped shape NAICJA’s goals and visions.Judge Hager was a Senior Attorney at Oklahoma Indian Legal Services for over 30 years. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, teaching in the Masters of Law and L.L.M. programs. Judge Hager was also on the board of the Kansas Tribal-State Judicial Committee.
“Steve was a dedicated judge and member of our community who we will miss dearly,” stated President Richard Blake. His good friend and long-time colleague, Judge Greg Bigler, recalled, “Steve Hager was a great friend, and he was a pleasure to watch in court. We never knew if he would be at tribal court with some interns from OILS, or on his own. He was generous with his time and great legal knowledge to those in training. In court, I always knew when he stood up and started to take off his glasses that he was about to make a well taken point. It was usually about the law or concern over his juvenile clients, but it could also be a dry humorous comment about the current state of affairs we all suffered. He will be missed by the courts he practiced in, because he was a unique and talented friend. We could use more judges and lawyers with his dedication, caring, and spirit that could brighten any room. Steve would also want everyone to know that he always wanted to be a lumberjack.”NAICJA sends condolences to his wife, son, family and the communities where he served and practiced.