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Outstanding contributions earn couple the Order of Chilliwack

Gwen and Steven Point were bestowed the Order of Chilliwack in grand style Thursday at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre
The Order of Chilliwack has been presented to Gwen and Steven Point. The medal has been only given out to four recipients since 2001: Fred Bryant

They have accomplished so much and yet remain so humble.

Gwen and Steven Point were bestowed the Order of Chilliwack medal in grand style at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Thursday night.

The highly respected Sto:lo couple was honoured for sharing their deep cultural knowledge and rich experience, as well as their passionate dedication to family, community and nation.

"We are thrilled to honour them in this way," said Mayor Sharon Gaetz in council chambers on Tuesday.

"They are being recognized for bringing our community and the Sto:lo closer together and helping us cross some cultural barriers and challenges."

Gwen Point is the chancellor of University of the Fraser Valley, with a doctorate of education from SFU.

She is a generous role model who keenly demonstrates how education doesn't just transform the student's life, but also transforms an entire community.

As spouse of Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, Gwen Point was B.C.'s Chatelaine for five years.

Together they live on Skowkale First Nation, and have four children, 13 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Gwen Point was one of the first to bring the powwow style of traditional dance and ceremony to Sto:lo territory, which became a source of cultural strength and medicine for many families.

She and her husband successfully built and hosted the Chilliwack Powwow, which became the largest powwow gathering in the province in the early 2000s.

They were chosen by council, and signalled out for their longstanding contributions to Chilliwack as leaders, mentors, teachers and indigenous cultural advisors.



The Honourable Steven Lewis Point is a Si:yam, which is the Halq’eméylem word for a leader, someone known for integrity, commitment to service and a generous spirit.

Sto:lo-Coast Salish from Skowkale, he follows the teachings of his elders.

The 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia for five years, Chief of Skowkale First Nation for 15 years, and a Chiefs representative for the Sto:lo Nation government  for five years, he is committed to serving Sto:lo people, Indigenous people and the People of B.C.

He worked with the 24 Sto:lo Chiefs and was a major part of Sto:lo history when all 24 Chiefs united under the Sto:lo Nation Society. In 2014, he was given the title of Grand Chief by Sto:lo Tribal Council.


Steven Point is currently a provincial court judge, with most of his life and career focused on the importance of Sto:lo maintaining connections to their traditional territory.

Point was a Chief Commissioner of the B.C.Treaty Commission, a sessional instructor at UFV, director of the Native Law program at UBC, manager of the Sto:lo Heritage Project collecting data for Sto:lo history, language and culture, the manager of the Lands Program at Sto:lo Nation Canada, an instructor of the Native Law Program at the University of Saskatchewan. He was also the managing partner at his own firm, Shirley and Point.

The Order of Chilliwack medal has been only given out to four recipients since 2001: Fred Bryant, Rotary Club of Chilliwack, Dorothy Kostrzewa, and Brian Minter.

The purpose of the Order of Chilliwack award is to "recognize citizens of Chilliwack who are appropriately deserving by virtue of outstanding achievement or long-term contributions to the community."


Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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