By Sean McIntyre
Published in the Gulf Islands Driftwood, November 30, 2016, page 3
It isn’t often that guests on the ArtSpring stage receive a standing ovation before uttering a single word, but such is the moral weight of the message shared by Stewart and Joan Phillip.
From the landmark 1974 fisheries dispute at Frank’s Landing, through Quebec’s Oka standoff to today’s Standing Rock resistance, the couple has faithfully travelled to the front lines of the fight for First Nations rights across their ancestral lands. They’ve been beaten back by riot police, carted off in paddy wagons and risen to become respected spokespersons within the Pentiction Indian Band, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the broader reconciliation movement.
“We’ve come to realize that we’re in this together,” said Stewart Phillip, Grand Chief of the UBCIC or, as introduced by moderator Jason Mogus Saturday evening, the chief of chiefs. “We started alone, but now we stand with millions of people around the world.”
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