The Honorable Evelyne E. Bradley, known as the Navajo Nation’s “Mother Justice” walked on May 21. She was 88. She served as a district court judge of the Navajo Nation from 1984 until retiring in 1995.
She was appointed as a district court judge by Peterson Zah and confirmed a probationary district court judge on April 24, 1984, according to a Navajo Nation press release. The appointment was made permanent and confirmed on April 23, 1986. She retired February 25, 1995, after almost 11 years of service.
She had previously worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity, Navajo Housing Authority as a court advocate. At one point she also served as executive secretary during the administrations of tribal chairmen Sam Ahkeah and Paul Jones.
Bradley was born March 1, 1925, and was originally from Cross Canyon, Arizona, according to the press release. Her clan was Bitter Water for Towering House; her maternal grandparent’s clan was Cliff Dwellers People and her paternal grandparent’s clan was Red House People.
She attended North Phoenix High School and then Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, graduating in 1947.
She is survived by her four children and had 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank Bradley Jr. and son Wess Edward “Hogo” Smith.
Services were held May 24 at the Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona.