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Extraordinary life of Chief Dan George reflected in Kelowna museum exhibit

Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist is on loan from the Museum and Archives of North Vancouver
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The exhibit has been on display since Truth and Reconciliation Day 2022, and its run has been extended to Apr. 2. (Photo/Kelowna Museums Society)

A special exhibit celebrating the life of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George has been extended at Okanagan Heritage Museum.

‘Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist’ is on loan from the Museum and Archives of North Vancouver.

It has been on display since Truth and Reconciliation Day 2022, and its run has been extended to April 2.

George (born Geswanouth Slahoot) was a longshoreman, actor, musician, lecturer, poet, activist, environmentalist, and First Nations leader.

He was raised on the Burrard Indian Reserve #3, the son of Hereditary Chief George Sla-holt.

Chief George began his acting career later in life during the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared in many television, movie and stage productions where he worked to promote a better understanding of First Nations people.

The Chief was nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 71 for his work alongside Dustin Hoffman in the film Little Big Man.

He also helped foster renewed interest in Indigenous rights with his iconic “Lament for Confederation” speech in 1967 during Canada’s Centenary.

While it is focused on George, the exhibit also delves into significant events in the First Nations rights movement in B.C. and Canada. Visitors to the exhibition will learn about other key individuals, such as Frank Calder, in the Indigenous rights movement.

“The exhibit features a wide variety of inspiring activists and leaders, focusing on Chief Dan George, who is so fondly remembered,” said Linda Digby, Kelowna Museums Society executive director.

The society will also be hosting a tour of the exhibit on Feb. 22. Tickets and more information can be found on the museum’s website.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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