(Grand Chief Stewart Phillip wrote the following letter, which is posted on kidneyforgcsp.ca.)
Some of you may know that I have chronic kidney disease. Unfortunately, it has gotten worse over time. My kidneys no longer work well enough to keep me alive and continue my lifelong work and passion to advocate for Indigenous Title and Rights and the environment, and to do the things I enjoy most, like spending time with my wonderful wife Joan, our five children and fifteen grandchildren, and being out on our territory.
I am a proud member of the Syilx Nation where I have been Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance for 15 years, and a member of the Penticton Indian Band where I was on Chief and Council for 24 years, 14 of which I was Band Chief. Currently I am in my 8th consecutive three-year term as President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
My traditional name is A?sir?t, which loosely translates into “loon” and which my elders bestowed on me because they say my voice can be heard rising clearly across and through Turtle Island. I received an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia in 2019 in recognition of my life-long advocacy and work.
My treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. Regular dialysis treatments will help my kidneys do their job and keep me alive but dialysis must be done three times a week for four hours at a time. A transplant would offer me a longer, healthier, more normal life, one where I can continue to do the work I have done for decades.
The public wait list is very long, so my best chance is receiving a kidney from a living donor, a living donation.
Asking my family, friends and supporters to consider donating a kidney to me is difficult, but it greatly improves my chances.
Please consider getting tested to see if you are a match if your blood type is A+.
Lim’ Limpt (thank you)
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip