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 the last 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 twenty-seven years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, six granddaughters and seven grandsons. He is currently enjoying his 24th year of sobriety. In this regard, he is a firm believer in leading by example.
Chief Bob Chamberlin
Chief Bob Chamberlin is the elected Chief Councilor of the Kwicksutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish First Nation currently completing his third 2 year term. In addition to this Bob has served as Chairman of the Musgamagw-Tsawataineuk Tribal Council for 5 years and most recently as Secretary/Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Bob is a Traditional singer for the Kwakwakawakw people and has a son who is 16 years old. He has also worked as an Audio Consultant where he digitized libraries of reel to reel and cassette recordings of traditional songs of his people and re-mastered them digitally.
Chief Chamberlin has been successful in negotiating the necessary resources to rebuild virtually the entire village of Gwa-yas-dums on Gilford Island. This included a water treatment facility, power supply, new subdivision and every home being rebuilt, 6 Home’s are currently being constructed today.
In his role as Co-Spokesperson of the First Nation Chiefs Family and Wellness Council, Chief Chamberlin has turned his attention to address the short comings of adequate funds, resources and services for the Children in Care in British Columbia.
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 Marilyn Baptiste
Marilyn Baptiste is Chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, one of six nations of the Tsilhqot’in National Government and a founding member of British Columbia’s First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM).
“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.”
Chief Marilyn Baptiste and fellow members of FNWARM were recognized with a Boreal Award at the 2010 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.