Simon Baker

A legend on the waterfront and as a lacrosse player, Chief Simon Baker, whose Squamish name is Khot-La-Cha or “Man with a big heart,” is one of the most beloved cultural figures in British Columbia. Chief Baker was a longshoreman for forty years, working his way up to Superintendent at Canadian Stevedore. As a youth during the 1930’s, Chief Baker, also known as “Cannonball Baker,” was a star lacrosse player for the famed North Shore Indians Lacrosse Club. For more than thirty years, Chief Baker was a band councilor of the Squamish Nation, serving ten of those years as Chairman. Known for his ability to get things done, Chief Baker initiated a number of cultural events and organizations, including powwows and the first ever Indian Club of Vancouver as well as the Capilano Indian Community Club. As an ambassador for the Squamish people, Chief Baker has lectured and performed nationally and internationally across Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. So loved by his community, he was designated “Chief for Lifetime”, the only individual ever designated with the title. He was also made an Honorary Chief of the Sechelt Nation and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia. Throughout his life, Chief Baker has generously volunteered his time, serving as a revered advisor to numerous organizations and lecturing to countless classes of university students. He has received many awards and special recognitions. In 1958 and in 1971, he received the British Columbia Centennial Award of Merit. He was named to the Order of Canada, received the North Vancouver Distinguished Citizen Award, and was granted an Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia in 1990. Most recently, Chief Baker was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, in recognition of his achievements in lacrosse, and collaborated with Verna Kirkness, the well-known Aboriginal educator, to produce his autobiography.