FEBRUARY 21, 1921


Born in British Columbia (BC), George’s political career began as Chief of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) people.  In 1959, he became President, North American Indian Brotherhood of BC.  When Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau released the 1969 White Paper policy, Manuel led the fight against it.  In 1970, as President, National Indian Brotherhood (now, Assembly of First Nations), he sought international political unity of Indigenous peoples–“The Fourth World.”  In 1975, George launched the UN-affiliated World Council of Indigenous Peoples and wrote The Fourth World: An Indian Reality.  At the 2nd General Assembly of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in 1977, Manuel proposed what became the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  In 1980, as President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, he forced Ottawa to include Aboriginal rights in the constitution (Section 35, Constitution Act, 1982). An Officer of the Order of Canada, George died November 15, 1989. 

Source:  “George Manuel,” indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca.  Retrieved 12/22/2019,  https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/george_manuel/
Photo:  Author and date unknown.   Courtesy of the University of British Columbia Archives.

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