President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
In October 2008, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip concluded his fourth consecutive term as Chief of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB), having served the band as chief for a total of 14 years. He was also an elected band councillor for 10 years and continues to serve as the chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
In 2006, the Okanagan Nation, led by the elders of the PIB, acknowledged his lifetime commitment to the defence of Indigenous peoples' title and rights by bestowing on him and his family the rare honour of the title of Grand Chief.
Over 38 years, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has held various positions within the PIB administration including 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 seventh 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 33 years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, six granddaughters and nine grandsons. He is currently enjoying his 30th 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 on 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.