Featured Leaders - s1
"We are an oral culture, and so knowledge was passed down by the elders. The circle was broken when
Indigenous children were taken from their homes and sent to residential schools."
Chief Gibby Jacob
Chief Gibby is one of the province's leading power brokers. He and his associates work with First Nations public, and private sector corporations to find novel and powerful solutions to complex negotiations. He has played a key role in landmark negotiations for Squamish Nation and helped transform his community for Squamish Nation, and helped transform his community into one of the country's most prosperous and forward thinking.
Chief Dr. Robert Joseph
A true peace builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad. Chief Joseph is currently the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada, and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council. He was formerly the Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, and is an honorary witness to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
St. Mary's Indian Band, Cranbrook, BC
Chief Sophie is distinguished for her commitment to FN economic development. She was a principal leader raising the money to purchase St. Eugene Residential School and renovate the building and surrounding land into a hotel, casino, and golf resort.
"Since it was within the St. Eugene Residential School that the culture of the Kootenay Indian was taken away, it should be within the building that it is returned."
Director/Chief Negotiator, Ktunaxa Nation, East Kootenay Region. Her desire is for people to see the Ktunaxa Nation as part and parcel of the wider community. One of Teneese's greatest achievements was saving the Jumbo Valley from development, and being awarded $21 million to create an Indigenous protected area.
Hupacasath Nation, Port Alberni, BC.
Ron is a carver, graphic artist, and painter residing on the Ahaswinis Reserve where he was born. Ron has made a vital contribution to the preservation and the continuation of threatened Nuu-Chas-Nulth art and design. In 2018 Ron was appointed as a co-curator for a massive project being undertaken by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Chief Ian Campbell
Chief Ian Campbell, one of the 16 hereditary chiefs with the Squamish Nation and a band councillor, he's also been a key negotiator in getting his community to work with the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh nations to reclaim more than 120 acres of land in Vancouver. In 2018, he became the Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate for the 2018 Vancouver muncipal election, but withdrew before the election.
Eugene Harry (XiQuelem)
Eugene Harry is a member of the Cowichan Tribes. He is a Shaker Church minister in Squamish Nation and also works at Vancouver Native Health. His journey is one rife with struggle. Now, Eugene, 65, has made it his mission to pass the Shaker faith on to a new generation, hoping faith helps them like it helped him.
"If someone told me when I was young that I'd be a Shaker minister one day, I'd have said 'When Hell freezes over'"
Raw courage and conviction are dominant personal characteristics of British Columbia Chief Treaty Commissioner, Miles Richardson. In 1984 Mr. Richardson was elected President of the Haida Nation and served for 12 years. When loggers threatened to destroy the old growth forest on Gwaii Hanaas, also known as South Moresby Island, Mr. Richardson and the Haida people marshaled environmentalists to protect their land. Against the odds and with personal risk, he led the Haida and the environmentalists in successfully convincing the federal government to designate Gwaii Hanaas as Canada's first national park reserve, and a Haida heritage site to name the Haida people co-managers of the park.
Dr. Gwendolyn Point
Dr. Gwen Point is a respected Stó:lō leader and mentor and has held a number of provincial government and regional posts supporting education, children and family services and First Nations communities. From 2007 – 2012, as spouse of the Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Point served as BC’s Chatelaine, a role that demanded her participation in numerous and diverse public engagements. Dr. Point has received many prestigious awards. In 2012, the University of Victoria awarded her an honourary Doctorate in Education.
Honourable Steven Point
The Honourable Steven Point has served Chilliwack and surrounding First Nations communities for close to 30 years in a variety of roles after graduating from UBC’s law school. He has served as Chief of the Skowkale First Nation, Tribal Chair of the Stó:lō Nation and Grand Chief of Stó:lō Tribal Council, the Chiefs' representative for the Stó:lō Nation Government House, and managed the Lands Department of the Stó:lō Nation. In 1999, he was appointed a Provincial Court Judge. From 2007 – 2012 he served as Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. In 2007 he received the Order of BC. In 2020, he was named the first Indigenous Chancellor of UBC.
Satsan (Herb George)
Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chief of the Frog Clan, Satsan has been a long-time Speaker for the Wet'suwet'en Nation, which is located in BC. He served as Speaker for both the Gitxsan, and the Wet'suwet'en Nations. Satsan was a key figure and strategist in the Delgamuukw-Gisday'wa case, which was the subject of a successful judgement before Supreme Court of Canada in December 1997. He was Regional Chief and founder of the National Centre for First Nations Governance.