Kwuntiltunaat, Kim Baird
The British Columbia Reconciliation Award recognizes extraordinary individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia, or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts. Learn more about the BC Reconciliation Award recipients.
Kwuntiltunaat – Kim Baird is an accomplished leader, a respected advocate for Indigenous people, and is nationally recognized for her work in Reconciliation. She is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, receiving the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012, and currently serves as the University’s Chancellor. Kim’s life work has provided a foundation that will create the opportunity for the process of Reconciliation to exist/thrive. This includes acknowledging that First Nations have a right to self-determination, a quality of life equal to all, and in partnership with all people.
At the age of just 28 years old she was the elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). She held this important position for six terms, from 1999 to 2012. In that role Kim’s most notable 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.”
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.