Speakers for Keepers of the Water VI: Our Waters are One
September 26-29, 2012 · Fort Nelson, BC
GRAND CHIEF STEWART PHILLIP
President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs

In October 2008, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip concluded his fourth consecutive term as Chief of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) after having served the Band as Chief for a total of fourteen years. In addition, he served as an elected Band Councilor for a ten-year period and continues to serve as the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance.

In October 2006, the Okanagan Nation, led by the Elders of the Penticton Indian Band, acknowledged his lifetime commitment to the defense of Indigenous Peoples' Title and Rights by bestowing on him and his family the rare honour of the title of Grand Chief.

Over the last thirty-seven years, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has worked within the Penticton Indian Band Administration holding a variety of positions, such as Band Administrator, Director of Land Management, Education Counselor, Economic Development Officer and Band Planner.

Aside from serving as a member of the PIB council for a total of twenty-four years, he is proud to be in his fifth three-year term as the President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

He has taken an active role in the defense of Aboriginal Title and Rights by readily offering support to Native communities in need. He has taken a personal approach seeing first-hand the impact of fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, lobbying on Parliament Hill to defeat the First Nations Governance Act, standing with Elders of Treaty 8 against oil and gas development in the Peace River, burning referendum ballots with fellow chiefs in protest and has stood on the steps of the Legislature with 3000 other people united under the Title and Rights Alliance banner.

"I hereby commit to work collectively with the Chiefs of the UBCIC, the First Nations Summit and the BC Assembly of First Nations. We must work together to ensure the governments of Canada and British Columbia endorse and implement the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for our Nations and communities. We must work together to compel government to update the Comprehensive Claims Policy to reflect the many hard-fought court victories such as the Delgamuuk'w, Haida and William cases," said Grand Chief Phillip. "To bring justice and healing, we must work together, side by side, with the many families and friends of the missing and murdered women throughout British Columbia."

Grand Chief Phillip has been married for twenty-seven years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, six granddaughters and seven grandsons. He is currently enjoying his twenty-fourth year of sobriety. In this regard, he is a firm believer in leading by example.

» VIDEO: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip on Bill C-38 (2:20 · YouTube)
» VIDEO: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip on Enbridge (0:56 · GlobalBC)
» VIDEO: Paddle for the Peace with interview (4:18 · YouTube)