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Winlaw's Byng Giraud appointed to Order of British Columbia

Lone Sheep Publishing
By Lone Sheep Publishing
August 11th, 2023

Fourteen people, including Byng Giraud of Winlaw, will be appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest form of recognition and an official part of the Canadian Honours System.

“As representative of the Crown in British Columbia and as chancellor of the Order of British Columbia, I am honoured to welcome these 14 members,” said Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of British Columbia in a recent media release.

“This honour is a mark of excellence, reflected in the service and achievements of these incredible British Columbians.

“Their accomplishments have left an indelible mark on their communities, and ensuing legacies will impact our province to the benefit of future generations. It is my great pleasure to share my congratulations to all new appointments to the order.”

This year, 224 British Columbians were nominated. These new additions bring the total membership of the Order of British Columbia to 503. Members have been appointed from all parts of the province.

“While they are not officially part of the Marvel Universe, these 14 remarkable individuals are superheroes. They have contributed in unique and profound ways to our province, our nation and beyond, through leadership, selflessness and generosity,” said Premier David Eby. “Congratulations to all on their appointment to the Order of British Columbia.”

Byng Giraud Bio:

Byng Giraud is an aggressive advocate for economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

He believes that economic development can raise all people and thereby can help ensure that Indigenous Peoples experience the same health, education and economic outcomes as other British Columbians.

He is not afraid to challenge existing rules or orthodoxies.

For example, working with Squamish Nation, together they changed the landscape of Indigenous-led environmental assessment, something not allowed in law until 2018.

Giraud said: “Don’t tell me we can’t do it. That makes me want to make the change even more.”

Today, he is focused on supporting the financial tools Indigenous Peoples need to own and lead major projects within their lands. The origins of Giraud’s support for Indigenous advocacy date back to his younger years. While working as a labourer in the Peace River area, a prejudiced supervisor intentionally excluded an Indigenous co-worker from being given a ride back to the camp.

Giraud chose not to abandon the co-worker and opted to walk alongside him the lengthy distance back to camp.

He’s been walking the reconciliation path ever since. Today, he works closely with Indigenous communities to assist them in taking full advantage of economic opportunities in their lands.

Through his leadership, Byng has facilitated more than $1 billion in economic partnerships for First Nations to leverage their assets.

The ground-breaking economic reconciliation initiatives Giraud has participated in include negotiating and helping the Squamish Nation implement the first-ever Indigenous-led environmental assessment process in Canada.

That process, led by Squamish Nation, directly resulted in federal and provincial legislative changes allowing Indigenous-led environmental assessments.

 He was also active in creating and negotiating the first agreements between First Nations and operating mines in B.C, including agreements with five Nations at two separate projects. Prior to this, no operating metal mine had economic agreements with Indigenous communities.

Today, almost every operating or new mine in B.C. has an economic agreement with affected Indigenous communities.

He has led the Indigenous consultation processes that reopened the Huckleberry Mine in northern B.C. after years of conflict with local First Nations. This turned conflict into partnership.

He also led the Northwest Powerline Coalition of Indigenous groups and companies that successfully lobbied the Province to build the Northwest Transmission line along Highway 37, bringing electricity to the remote Tahltan Nation communities.

This is one of the first times in B.C. that Indigenous communities joined industry to lobby for collectively needed infrastructure. While on the board of Ridley Terminals, Giraud worked with the then-chair and partnered with board member Gitxsan Hereditary Chief Elmer Derrick to bring the first economic agreement between local First Nations and the terminal.

He served as a founding member of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations-BC Business Council Champions Table, a committee dedicated to practical projects to advance economic reconciliation in B.C.

Giraud worked with a coalition of more than 30 First Nation communities on purchasing a major pipeline He acted as an adviser to the 130-member-plus First Nations Major Project Coalition – an organization dedicated to enabling Indigenous equity participation in major projects.

Giraud’s contributions have not been limited to economic reconciliation.

He actively supports Indigenous cultural and sporting initiatives because actions speak louder than words. This has included raising thousands of dollars for various Indigenous organizations in B.C.

Appointed to the Order in 2023 include:

  • Dr. Penny J. Ballem of Vancouver
  • Evanna Brennan of Vancouver
  • Dr. Jane Buxton of Vancouver
  • Pieter R. Cullis, OC, of Vancouver
  • Samuel L. Feldman of Vancouver
  • Gordon J. Fyfe of Saanich
  • Susan Giles of Vancouver
  • Byng Giraud of Winlaw
  • Chief Councillor Harold Leighton of Prince Rupert
  • Susan E. Paish, KC, of North Vancouver
  • George C. Reifel, MGC, of Vancouver
  • Ryan Reynolds of New York, N.Y.
  • Daljit Thind of Vancouver
  • Patricia Woroch of Surrey

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