By JON MANCHESTER.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Penticton has been re-elected as president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Stewart was returned to the position by acclamation Thursday.
Phillip has served as president of the UBCIC since 1998. He is re-elected for a three-year term, said Chief Electoral Officer Ardith Walkem.
Phillip was chief of the Penticton Indian Band from 1994 to 2008 and is chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. Previously, he was also a band councillor for 10 years.
He is an outspoken advocate for aboriginal rights across the country.
Over 37 years, he has also served as band administrator, director of Land management, education counsellor, economic development officer and band planner with the PIB.
Phillip has taken a lead role in defence of aboriginal title and rights, speaking out on fish farming in the Broughton Archipelago, lobbying Parliament to defeat the First Nations Governance Act, standing with elders of Treaty 8 against oil and gas development in the Peace region, burning referendum ballots with fellow chiefs in protest and more.
Phillip said he plans to continue working with the national inquiry on missing and murdered First Nations women and, in a previous statement, said: “I commit to work collectively with the chiefs of the UBCIC, the First Nations Summit and the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. We must work together to ensure the governments of Canada and British Columbia endorse and implement the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for our Nations and communities."
He said First Nations must work with government to "reflect the many hard-fought court victories, such as the Delgamuuk’w, Haida and William cases."
Election of the remaining UBCIC executive takes place in February.