Steven Point

When Aboriginal people in British Columbia think of justice, they think of the Honourable Judge Steven Point. A leader of profound vision, Judge Point was first elected chief of the Skowkale First Nation when he was only 23 years old. After serving seven years and realizing that the future of his community lay in negotiating successfully with government for their treaty rights, he applied and was accepted into the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law. He specialized in criminal and constitutional law and graduated in 1985. After receiving his call to the British Columbia Bar, he established his own firm and began practicing criminal and Native law for local Sto:lo bands in Chilliwack. After three years of private practice, Judge Point began work for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs followed by a year in Vancouver where he served as a refugee adjudicator for the Department of Employment and Immigration. He left the federal government in 1991 to teach law and take over as the Director of the Native Law Program at the University of British Columbia, a position he held again in 1994. He returned to work for the Sto:lo Nation in 1993 as Manager of the Lands Department. So admired by his peers, Judge Point was appointed the Chief’s Representative at the Sto:lo Government House and became the prime spokesman for 21 out of the 24 Sto:lo Nation bands. He served the Sto:lo Nation until February, 1999 when he was appointed to the bench to serve British Columbians in Prince Rupert and Northwestern British Columbia.