Photo: 2021 BC Reconciliation Award Recipient, Kwuntiltunaat Kim Baird
Blog updated: Jan 17, 2023
With two days left to nominate for the 2023 BC Reconciliation Award, it’s valuable to look at program alumni and the groundwork created for others to follow. We challenge you to consider those whose efforts on the journey of reconciliation need to be told and nominate them for the 2023 award program! Alumna Kwuntiltunaat Kim Baird’s life work has provided a foundation that will create the opportunity for the process of reconciliation to thrive.
In partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, BC Achievement is privileged to honour Kim, share her story, and inspire others to nominate those on the reconciliation journey through the BC Reconciliation Award program. Recognized with her fellow 2021 and 2022 award alumni last week at Government House, Kim, the proud mother of three girls, has been leading her community for close to three decades. At the age of 28, Kim was elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). She held this important position for six terms, from 1999-2012. In that role Kim’s early achievements towards reconciliation took place. On behalf of TFN she negotiated BC’s first urban modern treaty, which came into effect on April 3, 2009. The treaty provided unprecedented benefits and opportunities, and her leadership contributed to TFN being one of the most progressive First Nations in Canada. She says, “true reconciliation” means “no longer being tethered to the Indian Act, and gaining access to financial resources and economic opportunities, and to services and programs for TFN members.”
Kim is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, receiving the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012 and currently serves as the University’s Chancellor. Kim graduated in 1992 with an Arts Diploma and she credits her studies at Kwantlen with awakening her political consciousness: ‘I was working on papers on my community of Tsawwassen. I learned about colonization, land claims process and why there are such poor economic conditions for Aboriginal peoples’. She graduated with a determination to improve the lives of her people and started working for her community in 1990. She hopes that her roles as chancellor will contribute to KPU’s evolving role with Indigenous reconciliation in Canada.
In the spirit of the BC Reconciliation Award, Kim believes that respect must go beyond Aboriginal rights and title. It needs to be reflected in laws, policies and in the operations of government and the courts. To support this ongoing quest, Kim now runs her own consulting firm and continues to share her expertise on many public and private boards, working tirelessly to serve her community in both official and unofficial capacities. She advises First Nations, governments, businesses and other organizations on Indigenous matters and served two terms as a jury member of the BC Achievement Indigenous Business Award program.
Nominate a deserving individual, group or organization for the 2023 BC Reconciliation Award at bcachievement.com TODAY! Nomination forms are online and BC Achievement staff is available to answer your questions. Deadline to nominate is January 20, 2023. Help tell the stories like that of Kim Baird and highlight those working on the path to reconciliation #nominatenowbc.
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