City of Cranbrook

Sophie Pierre

Sophie Pierre - National Aboriginal Achievement Award

Sophie Pierre is recognized as one of the most accomplished Aboriginal leaders in Canada. Her career has spanned 30 years, much of it spent as Chief of St. Mary’s Band, also known as A’qam, and as Administrator of Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Tribal Council.

Born in Cranbrook, Sophie received a diploma in business administration from Camosun College. Economic development has been a central theme in her vision for her community. Among her defining accomplishments was the transformation of a residential school, where she studied as a child, into the renowned St. Eugene Mission Resort. In June 1994 Sophie was awarded the Order of British Columbia, the highest form of recognition the province can extend to its citizens, in recognition of “a deep and inspiring respect for the human being, translated into action on an impressive list of organizations.”

In October 2002 Sophie received the Individual Economic Developer of the Year award from the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) in recognition of her achievement for the construction of the St. Eugene Mission Resort Development. In 2003 she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Public Service. Her work with the BC Treaty Commission represents familiar ground for Ms Pierre: the Ktunaxa-Kinbasket Tribal Council has been an active participant in the BC treaty process, and Ms Pierre previously served as co-chair of the First Nations Summit.

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