Meet the Chief – Interview with Chief Kim Baird

Q.Through your involvement with the Premier’s Aboriginal Business Investment Council and the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, what do we need to do as a nation (government at all level, communities and the larger Canadian society) to support aboriginal women?

There is so much we need to do as a society to end the disparity between Aboriginal people and other Canadians.  First and foremost, we must let Aboriginal women know their lives matter.  The Inquiry on Murdered and Missing Aboriginal women is a major step and opportunity to expose things that don’t make us comfortable.  In spite of our discomfort, we need Aboriginal women to know all Canadians value their lives.  The biggest thing Canadians can do is to understand the history of Canada and look at things like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action.  Other more direct things include meeting First Nation leaders for coffee or lunch to understand their goals and to find them platforms to speak about these issues.  I have had many business women from British Columbia meet me to learn about my work, and to offer moral support.  This was very helpful for me to carry out my job. 

Receiving the Order of Canada
Receiving the Order of Canada
Q. Do you believe that First Nations live in silos away from the larger Canadian society? How can we bridge the gaps between local communities and neighboring First Nation Bands?

First Nations are excluded from mainstream legal, political, economic, and societal instructions.  This was deliberately the case when reserves were established.  Overcoming these silos is our great collective challenge.  And First Nations are especially challenged with capacity constraints.  In my view, the self-governance of the Tsawwassen Treaty was the ultimate solution for the reconciliation of my community with BC and Canada.  But reconciliation doesn’t happen just between politicians; it also happens at a grassroots level, and those connections provide for the most meaningful expressions of agreement in my opinion.

Q. With your experience in Strategic Planning and envisioning, how aspiring career, professional and business women craft their personal vision and strategic plan?

I was fortunate in that my passion for my community and my career are aligned.  It was a natural process.  But I do think that enabling your passion should be a central part of your career strategy.  I don’t think setting goals and objectives are all that challenging. However, setting up the plans and the steps you need to take to reach your goal is more challenging.  But in my experience, having realistic goals you can monitor is exceedingly helpful to achieving your vision. 

Originally posted 2016-06-27 03:13:21.

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