Yesterday, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade announced that it will present its prestigious Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship to Musqueam Indian Band Chief Wayne Sparrow at the annual Governor’s Gala this spring, in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments advancing economic reconciliation and supporting athletic programs for youth.
Other Rix Award recipients include London Drugs for Engaged Corporate Citizenship and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for Outstanding Public Service.
The 2022 awards will be presented at the 34th annual Governor’s Gala. The annual black-tie gala brings together business, government, and community leaders to recognize the contributions of community leaders and to induct the Board of Trade’s immediate past chair into its Council of Governors. The 2022 inductee is Brent Cameron, who currently serves as the Vancouver Office Managing Partner and Board Chair for Boyden Canada.
2022 RIX AWARD FOR ENGAGED COMMUNITY CITIZENSHIP – CHIEF WAYNE SPARROW, MUSQUEAM INDIAN BAND
Chief Wayne Sparrow has served as elected chief of Musqueam Indian Band since 2012, after serving as an elected councillor since 1998. Musqueam’s core vision is to be a complete and healthy community through protecting their inherent Indigenous rights and re-establishing their self-governance. To do this, Musqueam is building capable governing institutions and economies that match their culture and enhance the quality of life now and for generations to come.
There are a number of recent agreements and initiatives that Chief Sparrow has been instrumental in as he works towards realizing his community’s vision, including developing and innovating economic opportunities that benefit not only Musqueam, but the entire region.
Chief Sparrow is board chair of Musqueam Capital Corporation (MCC), the economic development arm of Musqueam. During his time as chief, the MST Development Corporation (MSTDC), a business partnership between Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, has acquired substantial property holdings of over 20 million square feet, including the Jericho Lands and Heather Lands. Musqueam also co-owns the 40-acre Willingdon Lands with Tsleil-Waututh and Aquilini Development, which will feature 5,000 housing units and a film studio expected to create 3,000 long-term jobs.
These partnerships and development plans reflect Musqueam’s distinct culture and advance economic reconciliation. A key mandate for Chief Sparrow is providing Indigenous housing as part of these developments, particularly for members, and addressing climate change with a focus on sustainable development.
Under Chief Sparrow’s leadership, Musqueam signed a 30-year agreement with YVR in 2017, and in 2021 signed a relationship agreement with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Both of these agreements recognize Musqueam’s ongoing stewardship of their lands and waters, and also prioritize economic and education/training opportunities for members.
In December 2021, Chief Sparrow joined leaders from Lil’wat, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, as well as mayors from both Vancouver and Whistler, to announce that they signed an MOU to explore the possibility of a bid for the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. If the bid is presented, it would be the first Indigenous-led Olympic bid in the history of the Games.
In addition to his success in forging relationships and advancing Musqueam’s vision, Chief Sparrow has been an ardent supporter of youth soccer and is an ambassador for cultural pride and resiliency within his community.
ABOUT THE RIX AWARDS
The Rix Awards are an initiative of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, presented in honour of the late Dr. Don Rix, who served as Chair of the organization in 2008-09. Award recipients are chosen each year by a special selection committee of the board of directors, based on a number of criteria.
The Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship is presented to an individual who applies his or her exceptional skills, talents, and drive to making a positive impact in society. Hallmark characteristics of community citizenship include trust, purpose, connectedness, leadership, social capital, passion, empathy, ethics, and responsibility.
Past recipients include:
- Joe Segal (2020-21)
- Robert and Lily Lee (2019)
- Gordon and Leslie Diamond (2018)
- Yoshiko Karasawa and Michael Audain (2017)
- David Podmore (2016)
- Carole Taylor (2015)
- David McLean (2014)
- Terence Hui (2103)
- Peter M. Brown (2012)
- Brandt C. Louie (2011)
- Jimmy Pattison (2010)
- Craig and Marc Kielburger (2009)
This content is from the GVBOT News Release.