SALISH GESWANOUTH SLAHOOT (CHIEF DAN GEORGE) BORN—NOTED FILM & STAGE ACTOR
Of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Salish tribe in Burrard Inlet, N. Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Dan’s tribal name was anglicized by the mission school he attended. He worked at construction, logging, stevedoring, and performing with his family’s country-western act. From 1951-63, he was Burrard band chief. Dan’s acting debut, at age 60, was in the TV series Cariboo Country. His movie stardom came in Little Big Man in 1970. His role won New York Film & National Society of Film Critics Awards, and an Academy Award best supporting actor nomination. His numerous subsequent appearances also included The Outlaw Josey Wales. On stage, he was praised for his work in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe. His soliloquy, Lament for Confederation, an indictment of the theft of native territory, performed at the City of Vancouver’s Canadian centennial celebration in 1967, is credited with sparking native political activism in Canada & pro-native sentiment generally. He died September 23, 1981, in Vancouver, BC.
Sources: “Chief Dan George: Biography & Poems,” Study.com. Retrieved 5/30/2020, https://study.com/academy/lesson/chief-dan-george-biography-poems.html Cheryl Petten, “Chief Dan George: Acclaimed actor, gentle soul,” AMMSA. Retrieved, 5/25/2020, http://www.ammsa.com/node/29977 Photo: Colin Dangaard, 1976. Chief Dan George with Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood at a barbecue promoting The Outlaw Josey Wales. Public Domain.