(Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory – December 9, 2010) The UBCIC Chiefs Council met on November 25, 2010 at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre on Squamish Nation land in North Vancouver. As part of the agenda, the UBCIC conducted proceedings recognizing Chief Chamberlin and Chief Baptiste to the UBCIC Executive and held elections for three Active Member positions of the UBCIC Chiefs Council.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), stated "It is my true honor to announce that Chief Bob Chamberlin, Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation, has been acclaimed as UBCIC Vice-President and Chief Marilyn Baptiste, Xeni Gwet'in First Nation, has also been acclaimed as UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer. Chief Chamberlin's political experience and Chief Baptiste's on-the-ground experience will significantly strengthen and complement the political advocacy work of the UBCIC."
Chief Chamberlin said, “There are many issues, for example safe drinking water for our communities or the impact of industry on our waters and lands, that we as First Nations must address to protect our families and our territories. As Vice-President, I will always be respectful of each Nation’s authority and autonomy to determine what is in the best interests for their families and their territories. I will be available to assist any and all UBCIC Member Nations protect and further their interests to government and/or industry.”
Chief Chamberlin is currently completing his third consecutive term as the elected Chief Councilor of the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-kwa-mish First Nation and has served as Chairman of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council for five years. Last week, the Kwicksutaineuk/Ah-Kwa-Mish First Nation won the right to launch a class action lawsuit over damage to wild salmon stocks related to salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago.
“As Chief of the Tsilhqot’in People of Xeni Gwet’in, I strongly represent our People’s Title and Rights. As a Nation, we defended our Title and Rights to stop a proposed mine from destroying Teztan Biny and our lands,” said Chief Marilyn Baptiste. “As Secretary-Treasurer, I will continue to support Nations to move our shared values forward as caretakers of our respective territories whether that it is in the courts or on the land.”
Last month, Chief Marilyn Baptiste and fellow members of BC’s First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) were recognized with a Boreal Award at the annual Canadian Boreal Leadership Council Awards Gala dinner hosted by the Canadian Boreal Initiative. The award recognized FNWARM’s work to promote responsible mining in British Columbia.
The UBCIC Chiefs Council created three new Active Member positions to the Chiefs Council. Numerous nominations were submitted and nominees made personal representations at the Chiefs Council meeting. An Elder’s Representative, a Women’s Representative and a Youth Representative were successfully elected at the Chiefs Council meeting.
Jennifer Bobb, Spuzzum First Nation, was elected as the Elder’s Representative. Jennifer was a band councilor of Spuzzum First Nation for 20 years and Chief of Spuzzum First Nation for 13 years. Her goal has always been to bring community issues of utmost importance such as health, education and keeping our children home, to the forefront of political discussions at the community, regional and national levels.
Coo-la Louis, Okanagan Indian Band, was elected as the Women’s Representative. Coo-la is an elected councilor of the Okanagan Indian Band. Her professional background is in Business Management and Natural Resources. Coo-la brings confidence and an open mind to the UBCIC. She will continue to create space for women of today and tomorrow with the same strength and confidence gifted to her by the strong women in her life.
Jason Price was elected as the Youth Representative. Jason is an elected Councilor of the Campbell River Indian Band and also works as the Land Code Coordinator. His education background is in Business Administration. Jason sees the importance of engaging our youth and providing education so they can provide a strong voice for our future. He looks forward to gaining more knowledge and experience on all the issues that are present in Aboriginal Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.
“We were extremely fortunate to have a number of gifted individuals put forward their names for the Active Member positions,” said Grand Chief Phillip. “The UBCIC Executive looks forward to working with Jennifer, Coo-la and Jason.”
Grand Chief Phillip concluded, "On behalf of the UBCIC Chiefs Council and staff, I appreciatively acknowledge the work of Chief Willie Charlie, Chehalis Indian Band, during his tenure as Vice-President. His commitment to his community and to his family will carry him forward to many future accomplishments."
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip - (604) 684-0231
Chief Bob Chamberlin - (604) 684-0231
Chief Marilyn Baptiste - (604) 684-0231
The UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.