Wrapping up our series on Climate Justice and Inequality, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip joins Below the Radar to talk about his history of activism as a lifelong advocate for Indigenous Peoples' Title and Rights. He and Am speak about his role in historical battles for Indigenous land rights over the decades, and the future of land defense. In the midst of overlapping crises of the global pandemic and the contamination of the drug supply, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip addresses the need for a stronger response from the government that focuses on the people rather than corporations. He digs into government shortcomings when it comes to respecting Indigenous jurisdiction over Indigenous lands, landmark victories, and the ongoing fight to protect Indigenous territories. He also addresses his unconditional love for the land and for the people as his motivation to continue the fight for justice, and the sense of hope he feels about passing the torch to this new generation of land defenders.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. Over a 14-year period (1994-2008) he served four consecutive terms as Chief of the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) with an additional 10-years as an elected Band Councillor, and served as the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance for 15 years. 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. Grand Chief Phillip 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. In November 2018, Grand Chief Phillip was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of British Columbia for his life-long advocacy and work.Grand Chief Phillip has been married for 36 years to his wife Joan. They have four grown sons, two daughters, seven granddaughters and seven grandsons. He is currently enjoying his 34th year of sobriety. In this regard, he is a firm believer in leading by example.Resources:— Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC): www.ubcic.bc.ca/ — Okanagan Nation Alliance: www.syilx.org/ — Grand Chief Stewart Phillip's testimonial with the Unist'ot'en Camp: unistoten.camp/grand-chief-stewart-phillip/