Steven L. Point
Steven L. Point (Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl), politician, lieutenant-governor of British Columbia from 2007 to present (b at Chilliwack, BC).
Steven L. Point (Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl), politician, lieutenant-governor of British Columbia from 2007 to present (b at Chilliwack, BC). A member of the Skowkale First Nation, Steven Point was first elected as chief at age 23 in 1975 and served as chief for a total of 15 years on several occasions after that. From 1994 to 1999 he was tribal chair of the Stó:lō Nation and Grand Chief of Stó:lō Tribal Council. Through his involvement in Stó:lō longhouses and by serving on the Chilliwack Pow Wow committee, he promoted traditional singing and dancing (see Powwow). From 1994 to 1998 he was chiefs' representative for the Stó:lō Nation Government House.
At age 31, having realized that he needed legal knowledge to deal with lawyers and accountants, Steven Point entered the University of British Columbia's (UBC) law school and graduated in 1985. He was called to the bar in 1986 and practised law from 1986 to 1989 as a partner in the firm of Point and Shirley. He later worked successively for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and in the Refugee Department of the Department of Employment and Immigration until 1991 when he became the director of the First Nations Legal Studies program at the UBC Faculty of Law. He left that post in 1994 to manage the Lands Department of the Stó:lō Nation. On 15 Feb 1999 he was appointed a provincial court judge based in Abbotsford, BC, but his duties took him to various parts of the province. He has also taught a course on Stó:lō Values at the University College of the Fraser Valley, which awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in 2000. That year he also received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award.
In 2005 Steven Point was appointed chief commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission and held that position until he was named the province's 28th lieutenant-governor. He was sworn in on 1 Oct 2007. One of his first duties was to give royal assent to the Maa-nulth First Nations treaty on 29 Nov 2007. He has expressed a special interested in "inspiring the young people towards their chosen path, whatever that may be."