Grand Chief Robert Pasco
In May 2013, Lytton First Nation hosted a day highlighting Nlaka’pamux title and rights which was informed by the work of NNTC.
The NNTC leadership recognized the lifelong dedication of Chief Bob Pasco to the protection and enhancement of Nlaka’pamux title and rights. At a day long gathering, with friends, family and leadership from other Nations, Bob was honored with being given the title of Grand Chief Pasco.
Grand Chief Pasco was born at Ntequem, a small Nlaka'pamux community near Ashcroft, British Columbia where he and his family have lived for generations. He attended a residential school at Lytton, BC for six and a half years. The education policy of the day for most indigenous people was removal of children from families into a separate school system.
The sixteen Bands of the Nlaka'pamux Nation mandated Grand Chief Pasco and the NNTC to be responsible for the protection and promotion of the Nlaka'pamux title and rights. The Nlaka'pamux Nation is located in the southern interior of British Columbia and extends into the state of Washington.
Grand Chief Pasco initiated the development of the Interior Tribal Fishing Treaty, which has the support of most First Nations along the Fraser River System. The court case of Pasco v. CN Rail has also provided significant environmental protection to the Nlaka'pamux fishery that is at the heart of Nlaka'pamux title and rights.
Grand Chief Pasco participated in the creation of and assists the Nlaka'pamux Services Society, which addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of the Nlaka'pamux. He also worked with the other Nlaka'pamux Chiefs and Tribal staff in the creation of a safe house for women and children.
Grand Chief Pasco works through other organizations to achieve the objectives of the Nlaka'pamux Nation. He has participated in the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and served on two Federal Environmental Review Panels. Grand Chief Pasco was a member of the Fraser River Management Board, Credit Union Board, National Economic Development Program Board and BC Rail Board. He serves as President of both the Ashcroft Rancher's Association (BC Cattlemen's Association) and the Western Indian Rodeo and Exhibition Association.
Grand Chief Pasco has served as a presenter and educator on matters ranging from community planning, sovereignty, jurisdiction, fishing, education, and language. Grand Chief Pasco, Eddie and Amy Charlie, Bev Phillips, Les Edmonds, Hank Andrew, and Nlaka'pamux Tribal staff are documenting the Nlaka'pamux language in a unique system. Chief Pasco is also involved in ranching at his home in Ntequem near Ashcroft, British Columbia.
Grand Chief Robert Pasco, the Chair of the Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council, has dedicated his life to the protection and promotion of Nlaka'pamux title and rights, not only for the benefit of the Nlaka'pamux but for the community as a whole. His work has resulted in the protection of the fishery, the environment and the Nlaka'pamux culture and language. Grand Chief Pasco is focused on finding positive solutions which will ensure the continuation of Nlaka'pamux title and rights for future generations.