Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
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 14 years. In addition, he served as an elected Band Councilor for a 10 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 37 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 24 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.
Grand Chief Phillip has been married for 30 years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, seven granddaughters and seven grandsons. He is currently enjoying his 27th year of sobriety. In this regard, he is a firm believer in leading by example.
“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” -- Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.
Chief Robert Chamberlin, OWADI
Chief Robert Chamberlin, Owadi, is a member of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation, which is part of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. The main village site of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis is located at Gwa’yas’dums (Gilford Island), located between Tribune Channel and Knight Inlet in BC. Bob is the son of late Stella Smith, a brother to three siblings and a very proud father of Willie. Bob is enjoying life in North Vancouver with his partner Melissa.
Local Initiatives & Accomplishments
Robert (known to many as “Bob”) has served as the elected Chief Councillor of Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation since 2005 and served as the Chair of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council from 2005 - 2015. As Chief Councillor, Bob led a comprehensive community planning process, undertook a number of major capital development projects and engages in activities for nation development.
Regional and National Initiatives & Accomplishments
For most of his professional career, Bob has been a dedicated advocate for the safeguarding of wild salmon and habitat. With the assistance of the staff at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), he established the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, an organization of Indigenous leaders in BC united in our resolve, determination and commitment to ensure the protection and conservation of wild salmon.
In the early 2000, Bob served as Secretary-Treasurer of UBCIC. Since 2009, Bob has served as the Vice-President of the UBCIC, actively engaged in the defense of Aboriginal Title and Rights. In this role, Bob advocates on issues of concern to First Nations and works to support the path to reconciliation. He has had the opportunity to present to standing senate committees, support First Nations’ direct action on many issues and has given various keynote addresses and presentations. Bob has also been a member of various national working groups on issues covering: water, environment, aquaculture and fisheries. In support of First Nations families, from 2009 - 2014, Bob served as the Co-Chair of the First Nation Child Family and Wellness Council, with the aim of addressing key issues and challenges facing First Nations children and families in BC. - Gilakas'la.
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
Chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band in the BC Interior, Judy Wilson has an extensive media background in audio-visual production, book publishing, broadcast journalism and web planning. Her work experience includes; data technician, communications officer, project developer, news reporter, broadcast manager and marketing coordinator. She is nearing completion of the second year of a First Nations Public Administration program leading to a Master's Degree in Public
Chief Wilson is an advocate of language, culture, history, aboriginal rights and title for Sepwepemc communities. She was elected Chief in 2007 for Neskonlith Indian Band and has served on the Band Council for a total of ten years. In her current term, Chief Wilson is focusing on youth, traditional governance, caring for the land, ecological business solutions, and working relationships with local governance and the province and federal Crown. She is a member on many boards which include; Assembly of First Nations Comprehensive Claims Policy Committee, First Nations Child & Family Wellness Council, First Nations Technology Council, Small Business Roundtable, Secwepemc Health Caucus, Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition and several other community-based committees.