First Nations Leadership Council Celebrates Joan Phillip Being Sworn in as Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

News Release 
July 28, 2023

First Nations Leadership Council Celebrates Joan Phillip Being Sworn in as Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.)

The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) proudly extends its heartfelt congratulations to Joan Phillip, a distinguished member of Penticton Indian Band from Tsleil-Waututh, and distinguished leader and climate activist, as she is sworn in as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (MLA) for Vancouver Mount-Pleasant.  Joan succeeds outgoing MLA Melanie Mark who is Nisga’a, Gtixsan, Cree and Ojibway. Phillip’s appointment represents another pivotal milestone in our ongoing fight for representation of First Nations voices in the highest echelons of governance.

Phillip's historic achievement as the second First Nations woman to be sworn in as an MLA in British Columbia is a testament to her dedication, leadership, and commitment to advancing the rights and interests of First Nations in her own community and beyond. The FNLC firmly believes that her presence in the Legislative Assembly will contribute immensely to advancing our collective goals and creating a more inclusive, just, and equitable society.

Cheryl Casimer, Political Executive of the First Nations Summit said of Joan, “Her exemplary service to her community, coupled with her deep understanding of the challenges faced by First Nations people, has undoubtedly positioned her as a trailblazer and role model for aspiring Indigenous leaders and young women across the province, inspiring hope and fostering positive change in the political landscape. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Joan and look forward to witnessing the positive impact she will surely have on advancing the interests of First Nations in the provincial legislature. While Melanie left immense shoes to fill, we have no doubt that Joan is up to the task.”

Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice President, stated, "We are extremely proud of Joan’s accomplishments and her entry into the Legislative Assembly. This achievement represents a significant step forward in our collective journey towards meaningful representation and rights-recognition. With her leadership, we are confident that our shared vision can be realized. Joan has proven herself as an effective and passionate advocate for her community and for the climate, and we have no doubt that she will continue to be a powerful voice for Indigenous rights, social justice, and environmental stewardship within the provincial government."

Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations, concluded, “Today, we celebrate a historic moment as Joan takes her oath as an MLA. Her journey exemplifies the resilience and strength of First Nations women, who have been at the forefront of social, cultural, and political advancements within our communities We look forward to working together to promote the advancement of Indigenous rights and create opportunities for prosperity and well-being for all British Columbians. It is through the collaboration of diverse perspectives that we can build a stronger, more united British Columbia that honors the traditions and wisdom of the First Nations peoples.


The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), First Nations Summit (FNS), and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

For further information, please contact:

Colin Braker, First Nations Summit:                                               (604) 328-4094
Annette Schroeter, BC Assembly of First Nations:                        (778) 281-1655
Chief Don Tom, Union of BC Indian Chiefs:                                  (250) 813-3315

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