News & Stories

Chief Dan George: Artist & Activist

Exhibit at Maplewood Flats May 22-Augsut 29, 2019

The exhibit explores the life and legacy of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George (Tśētsawanexw & Stalaston), 1899-1981. The exhibit focuses on his influence as an advocate for the rights of First Nations Peoples and his career as an actor. It also considers other significant figures, events and milestones in the First Nations rights movement in BC and Canada, and touches on the wider history and portrayal of indigenous people in film and television. The exhibition also connects his esteemed legacy to this place, and enables Tsleil-Waututh members and North Vancouver residents to witness these stories so close to his home.

Chief Dan George: Artist & Activist Exhibit features stories and artifacts, including paintings, photographs and memorabilia, and was developed in close collaboration with the George Family. The exhibit will be on display May 22 to August 29, with an online Welcome Reception scheduled for Saturday, June 12, from 12-1:30pm.

front side of invitation to Chief Dan George Exhibit welcome reception
back side of invitation to Chief Dan George Exhibit welcome reception

For the past five years we have been actively decolonising the Maplewood Flats site with the singular objective of returning lands to TWN jurisdiction and positing that our lease with the Crown is a mistake of recent history. We are steadfastly operating with the spirit of putting the face of Tsleil-Waututh on the land.  With the proximity to the new reserve lands, and to Burrard Reserve, Maplewood Flats remains an important opportunity to bring a small bit of redress to TWN. Programming the Chief Dan George exhibit also reflects our methodology of operating the site as a platform for reconciliation in North Vancouver, and the region.

We recognize Chief Dan George’s legacy impacted the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s trajectory over the recent decades, and also played an important part in inspiring Indigenous rights resurgence across the region and beyond. He also inspired settlers here in North Vancouver (and across North America) to take responsibility for their collective role in colonialism. As your neighbours, the Wild Bird Trust of BC is grateful to be forging stronger alliances with settler civic agencies willing to Indigenize or take steps towards decolonizing (such as the Museum of North Vancouver and the North Vancouver Arts Council). Together we can more effectively challenge the status quo politics at the District of North Vancouver and elsewhere.  


For more information, and to view our calendar of events celebrating the exhibit and the life of Chief Dan George, visit our Exhibits page:

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