Kim Baird, former chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation, is one of 16 people to be appointed to the Order of British Columbia this week.
Baird, who was elected to six terms as chief of the TFN, led the First Nation through the negotiation and implementation of the first modern treaty in the B.C. treaty negotiation process. She also initiated the Tsawwassen Mills project, a commercial real estate development on Tsawwassen First Nation lands, currently estimated to be a $780-million project. Her community is now on the road to prosperity and self-sufficiency by creating employment opportunities and attracting hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.
“It’s a great honour obviously to be recognized for my contribution to my community and I’m really humbled to take credit for something that my whole team and I worked on for a long time,” Baird said. “I’ve invited most of my treaty team and other close friends and my daughters to celebrate with me so it should be a wonderful occasion.”
The Order of British Columbia is the latest of several honours bestowed upon her. In 2014 she became a member of the Order of Canada and in 2015 received an Indspire Award (formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Award).
Baird has also received an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University and a distinguished alumni award from Kwantlen Polytechnic Institute. Other accolades include Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award, and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.
Established by statute in 1989, the Order of British Columbia recognizes those per- sons who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavour, benefiting the people of the province or elsewhere. It represents the highest form of recognition the province can extend to its citizens.
Appointments to the order are made annually and British Columbians are invited to participate in this ongoing process by nominating persons whom they feel are worthy of this acknowledgement and hon- our. Since its inception, 402 people have been appointed to the order.
For more on the awards and a full list of this year’s appointees, see news.gov.bc.ca/11244.