Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and wife Joan are 2017 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award recipients

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and wife Joan Phillip are Wilderness Committee award winners

Joan Phillip. (Photo courtesy Tracey Kim Bonneau)

The Wilderness Committee is awarding the 2017 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award to Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and his wife Joan Phillip at the Wilderness Committee’s Annual Open House Saturday.

Committee officials said the pair were chosen for their decades of commitment to preserving and protecting lands, waters and the environment for future generations. They have stood up against damaging industrial development such as the Site C dam, Kinder Morgan pipeline, Ajax open-pit copper mine and the salmon farm industry, to name a few, added a committee spokesperson.

“Stewart and Joan are two of the hardest working environmental activists that I have ever met,” said Joe Foy, Wilderness Committee National Campaign Director in a news release. “They are constantly attending gatherings, meetings, and rallies, visiting communities and speaking to the public and the media on the environmental issues of our time. Stewart and Joan have provided invaluable direction and support to those working to protect BC from ill-conceived industrial projects.”

This is the 25th anniversary of the award.

The Wilderness Committee presents the Eugene Rogers Environmental Award each year to citizens who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to protect the environment and advocate for a better society. The award comes with a $1,000 dollar prize.

Grand Chief Phillip is an Okanagan Indigenous leader who has served as president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs since 1998. Joan was recently elected again to the Penticton Indian Band Council and is a lifelong advocate for Indigenous rights. They have been married for over 30 years.

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Grand Chief Stewart Phillip with federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Penticton Indian Band Chief Chad Eneas during the recent national park announcement. Phillip and wife Joan received a prestigious environmental award Saturday. Western News file photo

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