U.S. envoy Chris Stevens speaks to Council member for Misrata Dr. Suleiman Fortia, right, at the Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi, Libya, in this April 11, 2011 file photo.

Slain Ambassador to Libya and Chinook Citizen, J. Christopher Stevens, Mourned by Chinook Tribe


The death of J. Christopher Stevens, the 52-year old ambassador who was slain September 11 as Islamists attacked a U.S. Consulate in the city of Benghazi in Libya has hit home in Indian country. Stevens, who has been referred to as a rising star in U.S. foreign policy, is a member of the Chinook Indian Tribe in Washington state.

On Thursday, September 13, the tribal newspaper the Chinook Observer, shared statements from Ray Gardner, tribal chairman, following the news of Stevens’ death. “To all of the Chinook members and all the friends of the Chinook Nation I am hopeful that you will include the family of Chris Stevens the former Ambassador to Libya that lost his life while working towards bringing lasting peace to the region, in your prayers.”

In an Associated Press story Stevens is responsible for brokering tribal disputes and conducted U.S. outreach efforts in Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Riyadh. The story also says that his death “deprives the United States of someone widely regarded as one of the most effective American envoys to the Arab world.”

Stevens had been in Libya since April 2011, and jumped at the chance to be the next U.S. ambassador when President Barack Obama asked him earlier this year the AP reports. During his time in Libya, he witnessed the fall of Muammar al-Gaddafi which he had hinted to in a news conference in August 2011 – Gadhafi was killed in October.

“He was loved by everybody,” Ahmed al-Abbar, a Libyan opposition leader during the revolution that killed Gaddafi as reported by AP.

In a statement released by President Obama on September 12, he referred to Stevens as, “a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.”

The president also said that, “[i]t’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Gaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary [Hillary] Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there.”

Stevens becomes the sixth U.S. ambassador to be killed on duty, the last one was Adolp Dubs, in Afghanistan in 1979 according to the AP.

“He risked his life to stop a tyrant then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya,” Clinton said at the State Department according to the AP. “The world needs more Chris Stevenses.”

In a Washington Post video interview, Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution, when talking about Stevens said that it was a “big loss obviously for his family, but also for America, he was the best and the brightest.”

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gsevalikova's picture
Submitted by gsevalikova on
We are ALL Chris Stevens!! Our condolences to Mr.Stevens' family,friends and the Chinook Tribe. When someone is an advocate for democracy and freedom as Mr.Stevens was, and they die in this fashion it's a real tragedy to the world also, because he used the Native model of diplomacy,and those conservative Salafistas did not like how the locals loved him-he was" competing for their loyalty",so to the Sals he was a threat to be removed. And here in L.A. local people who are into freedom causes, who are Asian/Mid Eastern have been trying to warn Americans to be more vigilant for such reasons. He was a good man without the usual corporate agenda, which meant he couldn't be slandered as a trouble maker-unlike that Nakoula b.Nakoula,who is being interrogated by the sheriff's dept. and has a record for meth labs and bank fraud. He may be a Phalangist, and they ARE terrorists.

gsevalikova's picture
Submitted by gsevalikova on
Alert: timesofindia.com- Al Queda issues appeal for attacks on American diplomats worldwide/ China send 6 warships into Japanese waters today-breaking news.

laurelseed's picture
Submitted by laurelseed on
RIP Chris Stevenses, thank you for your service and bravery.

ppmickey's picture
Submitted by ppmickey on
What a terrible loss not only to the Chinook tribe but to America and to the Libyans who believed in what he was trying to do. These extremist groups of all types need stopped both here and all around the world. May he rest in peace.

tmsyr11's picture
Submitted by tmsyr11 on
It's too bad there is more to Steven's than what is being reported or being delivered. Considering the sensitivities in the Muslim culture, it should have been obvious to Administration before sending Stevens to Libya or a muslim country. Needless to say, Chris Stevens didn't have to be killed. It is apalling now to me the disregard to the truth particulary 6-8 weeks before the election.

gsevalikova's picture
Submitted by gsevalikova on
Breaking news:Salafist cleric Ahmad Fouad Ashoush calls on Muslim youth in US and Europe to attack sites. Iran to hunt down creators of unsulting film. Fatwahs, I think may be what these are(timesofindia.com)and China,too- 1000 ships from China sailing to Japan arriving by tonight( small boats)China warns Japan not to take one inch of territory(timesofindia.com). There IS chatter on some websites that Chris Stevens was in Libya to gather intel regarding the search for MANPADS, as well as helping america gain a deeper foothold into N.Africa, and Mr.Stevens may not have realized the extent of danger doing this poeration. That does not take away from the fact that he treated the locals well-there are also two videos thatappeared today- one showing youths trying to carry him out of the burned building,and another showing him being grabbed and attacked, and the New York Times has this story now(nytimes.com). e out here can't help but wonder IF this crazy video put put recently was a smokescreen to mask other news,like what is "October Surprise"? Being a diplomat can be perilous,and there are heroes like the German diplomat in Nanking during WW2 who tried to evacuate the populace there(City of Life and Death) which is an ecellent DVD. please check it out.