Chief Robert Gladstone, Elected chief from SHXWHA:Y Village
Robert Gladstone is a First Nations elected chief from the SHXWHA:Y Village in Chilliwack, British Columbia. He grew up surrounded by Elders who passed along traditional teachings in songs and ceremony. He spent several years of his younger life living with the hereditary chief of the SHXWHA:Y Village, which allowed him to learn the inner workings of traditional leadership. Chief Gladstone believes traditional teachings and values are the foundation on which any modern nation must be built. In 1991, he left his village and, unfortunately, fell into a self-destructive lifestyle. Around 2006, the voice within his heart returned and told him it was time to clean up his life. The Spirit told him that he had great work to achieve in his village, so he decided to return to school to obtain his bachelor’s degree. Chief Gladstone returned to his village in 2006 and ran for council in 2009.
He was elected to the SHXWHA:Y Village Council. Since his election, he has been instrumental in fighting for expanded fishing rights for First Nations, particularly around the right to harvests salmon for spiritual ceremonies. He works diligently to develop a diversified economic base for his community—one that is built on a foundation of sustainability. Chief Gladstone and his tribe have now ventured onto a new path in the emerging cannabis industry, and they have recently built a 30,000 ft.² medical marijuana growing facility, and a 1800 ft.² medical marijuana dispensary.”
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