Statement: UBCIC Remembers the Incomparable Lillian Howard for her Strength, Kindness, and Lifetime of Advancing Indigenous Causes


November 2, 2021

UBCIC Remembers the Incomparable Lillian Howard for her Strength, Kindness, and Lifetime of Advancing Indigenous Causes

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – November 2, 2021) It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) marks the passing of Lillian Rose Howard, a beautiful and courageous friend, leader, warrior, and community member from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation, who at one time worked for the UBCIC with Grand Chief George Manuel. As an admired community leader and advocate for Indigenous, social, and environmental causes, Lillian dedicated her life to cherishing and protecting the lives of Indigenous peoples, particularly Indigenous women and girls. UBCIC mourns the loss of Lillian, who leaves behind an incomparable legacy of hope and inspiration for those fighting to end systemic discrimination, and who was the pillar of her community – an endless source of wisdom, strength, and kindness. We offer our deepest condolences to her beloved family, friends, and community members.

A member of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation, Lillian Howard was of Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit ancestry and quickly become a central, guiding figure in the fight for Indigenous, Social, and Environmental Justice in BC and Canada. Lillian worked at the local and national level in numerous, imperative roles, including as the co-chair for the Urban Indigenous Peoples Advisory Committee for the Vancouver Police Department, and the founder of the Uplifting Indigenous Families Fund which raises funds to assist families during and after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG2S+).

Lillian was involved with UBCIC since 1975 and played a foundational role in supporting UBCIC’s work with the Coalition on MMIWG2S+, a network of grassroots organizations, advocates, community members, families, and survivors who are pursuing justice and working to end the crisis of gendered and colonial violence in BC and Canada. Lillian was also a member of the Butterflies in Spirit dance group, which raises awareness of MMWIG2S+, and she continually and steadfastly advocated for the safety, welfare, and protection of Indigenous women, girls, and those most vulnerable in our community throughout her lifetime. Lillian’s desire to bring people together, her sensitivity and understanding of injustice and inequality, and her warmth and kindness never ceased to create a safe, welcoming space for all who met and knew her. Lillian Howard helped shape the landscape of Indigenous activism, reconciliation, and sovereignty, and she will be remembered by all as a pillar of strength and wisdom, a warrior and champion of Indigenous rights and culture.

Lillian’s family have started a funeral fundraiser to help cover the cost of funeral expenses during this difficult time and are reaching out to the community to help. You can contribute here and share Lillian’s fundraiser with others who knew her. Thank you for your consideration and support for her family


Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC: (250-490-5314)
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of UBCIC: (604-290-6083)
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of UBCIC: (c/o 778-866-0548)

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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