Chief Dan George Poster


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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 July 1899North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Death 23 September 1981Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada  (heart failure)
Birth NameTes-wah-no

Mini Bio (2)

Chief Dan George was born with the names Geswanouth Slahoot (which was anglicized as Dan Slaholt) to a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in North Vancouver. His last name was changed to George when he entered a mission boarding school at the age of 5, where the use of his native language was discouraged, if not forbidden.

After spending much of his early life as a longshoreman, a construction worker, and a school bus driver, Chief Dan George auditioned for the role of Ol' Antoine on Cariboo Country (1960), a CBC television series, and was offered the part. On the strength of his performance in the series, and after playing the same part in Smith! (1969) a Disney adaptation of one the show's episodes, based on "Breaking Smith's Quarterhorse" a novella by _Paul St. Pierre_ and starring Glenn Ford, he was asked to play Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man (1970); this role led to a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1970. He continued to appear in a variety of films, and also became an accomplished stage actor.

He became an influential speaker on the rights of the native peoples of North America. He died in 1981 on the same Indian Reserve where he was born.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Hodson

Chief Dan George played old Moses Paul in 'Spirit of the Wind', a film made in 1979 by John Logue and Ralph Liddle that was never released in the US until recently. Chief Dan George's maturity as an actor in this film, his last, playing a scruffy, venerable trainer of sled-dogs, provided an aura of authenticity to the strenuous efforts of first-time actor Pius Savage to play George Attla, as he learns the art of dog mushing and prepares to enter his first Rondy competition in Fairbanks. The film, except for Slim Pickens as the local shopkeeper, has an entirely Native American cast, and includes a scintillating musical score by Buffy Saint Marie, herself a Native Canadian of the Cree Nation. The Montreal Star wrote, 'Slim Pickens and Chief Dan George show why they are among the most noteworthy character actors ever to have graced the screen.'

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Susan Solomon

Trivia (10)

Was chief of the Burrard Band of North Vancouver, British Columbia (aka the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation today), from 1951 to 1963. Although the position is elected, not hereditary, his son is chief today.
Besides television and the movies, was also a successful Canadian stage actor and appeared in The Ectasy of Rita Joe in 1967
Was a successful poet. Wrote two books of poetry, My Heart Soars (1974) and My Spirit Soars (1982). Also recited his famous work, "Lament for Confederation," at Vancouver, British Columbia's 1967 Canadian Centennial celebrations in Empire Stadium; the speech was a stirring - and unexpected - indictment of colonialism's impact on First Nations people and helped galvanize native political activism in British Columbia, and also created support and awareness among non-natives.
Always insisted on playing "good" First Nation characters.
Until 1959 (when he was 60 years old), he worked as a longshoreman, logger and itinerant musician.
He was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) on June 25, 1971 for his services to Canada.
He is commemorated on one of a set of postage stamps (issued in 2008) honoring prominent Canadians in Hollywood. The other stamps feature Marie Dressler, Norma Shearer, and Raymond Burr.
Actor Donald Sutherland quoted from his poem "My Heart Soars" in the the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010: XXI Olympic Winter Games.
A public middle school is named for Chief Dan George in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
Chief Dan George also has an elementary public school named after him in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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