Kim Baird, former Chief of B.C.’s Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN), is one of Canada’s most prominent and accomplished Aboriginal leaders. First elected Chief at age 28, Baird served for six terms from 1999-2012, during which she was instrumental in negotiating and implementing Canada’s first modern urban First Nation treaty, in 2009.
The historic agreement freed the TFN from the Indian Act, gave them a constitution and broad powers of self-government, and secured legal title for the Nation to several tracts of land in Tsawwassen.
Since then, Baird has overseen multi-million dollar agreements to build B.C.’s second-largest shopping mall, successfully worked with Port Metro Vancouver to expand the Deltaport shipping terminal, and has planned over 1,900 new housing units on Tsawwassen lands.
Chief Baird, whose ancestral name is Kwuntiltunaat, was the first non-MLA woman to address the provincial legislature in 2007, and she continues to be an inspiration for young women, strongly supporting their professional and leadership development.
She was the first representative of a First Nation on the Metro Vancouver board of directors and the Mayors’ Council on Transportation. She currently serves on the BC Hydro board, the UBC President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, the Chief Joe Mathias Scholarship Foundation, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, and the board of the TFN Economic Development Corporation, among others.
She has earned numerous honours including the National Aboriginal Women in Leadership Distinction Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 Award and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.
As one observer of Aboriginal leaders noted recently, "Kim Baird is a visionary, a steely-eyed business person. She has changed the course of B.C. history by giving us a new perception of Aboriginal people. That is her most important legacy. She embodies the word 'success'."