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Chief Dan George, OC (July 24, 1899 – September 23, 1981) was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh
Tsleil-Waututh
Nation, a Coast Salish band whose Indian reserve is located on Burrard Inlet
Burrard Inlet
in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was also an actor, poet and author; his best-known written work was "My Heart Soars".[1] As an actor, he is best remembered for portraying Old Lodge Skins opposite Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
in Little Big Man (1970), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Contents

1 Early years 2 Acting career

2.1 Accolades for Little Big Man

3 Musical career 4 Writing career 5 Personal life 6 Cultural references

6.1 Legacy

7 Filmography 8 Written works 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Early years[edit] Born as Geswanouth Slahoot in North Vancouver,[2] his English name was originally Dan Slaholt. The surname was changed to George when he entered a residential school at age 5.[2] He worked at a number of different jobs, including as a longshoreman, construction worker, and school bus driver,[3] and was band chief of the Tsleil-Waututh
Tsleil-Waututh
Nation from 1951 to 1963 (then called the Burrard Indian Band).[4] Acting career[edit] In 1960, when he was already 60 years old, he landed his first acting job in a CBC Television
CBC Television
series, Cariboo Country, as the character Ol' Antoine (pron. "Antwine"). He performed the same role in a Walt Disney Studios movie Smith!
Smith!
(1969), adapted from an episode in this series (based on Breaking Smith's Quarter Horse, a novella by Paul St. Pierre). At age 71, he received several honors for his role in the film Little Big Man (1970), including a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[3][5] He continued to act in other films, such as Cancel My Reservation
Cancel My Reservation
(1972), Alien Thunder
Alien Thunder
(1974), The Bears and I (1974), Harry and Tonto
Harry and Tonto
(1974), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Shadow of the Hawk
Shadow of the Hawk
(1976), Americathon
Americathon
(1979), Spirit of the Wind (1979) and Nothing Personal (1980), and on television, including a role in the 1978 miniseries Centennial, based on the book by James A. Michener, as well as appearing in a 1973 episode of the original Kung Fu series and in several episodes of The Beachcombers. He played the role of Rita Joe's father in George Ryga's stage play, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, in performances at Vancouver, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and Washington, D.C.. During his acting career, he worked to promote better understanding by non-aboriginals of the First Nations
First Nations
people. His soliloquy, Lament for Confederation,[6] an indictment of the appropriation of native territory by white colonialism, was performed at the City of Vancouver's celebration of the Canadian centennial
Canadian centennial
in 1967.[7] This speech is credited with escalating native political activism in Canada and touching off widespread pro-native sentiment among non-natives.[7] In 1971, George was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[8] In 2008 Canada
Canada
Post issued a postage stamp in its "Canadians in Hollywood" series featuring Chief Dan George.[9] He died in Vancouver
Vancouver
in 1981 at the age of 82. He was interred at Burrard Cemetery. Accolades for Little Big Man[edit]

Award Category Result

Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated

Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor

New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Won

National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Supporting Actor

Laurel Awards Best Supporting Performance, Male

Musical career[edit] In 1973, George recorded "My Blue Heaven" with the band Fireweed,[10] with "Indian Prayer" on the reverse. An album, Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
& Fireweed - In Circle, was released in 1974 comprising these songs and seven others. Writing career[edit] George was well known for his poetic writing style and in 1974, George wrote "My Heart Soars" followed by "My Spirit Soars" in 1983, both published by Hancock House Publishers. These two books were later combined to form "The Best of Chief Dan George" which went on to become a best seller and continues to sell well today. One of his better known pieces of poetry "A Lament for Confederation" has become one of his most widely known works. Personal life[edit] Dan George's granddaughter Lee Maracle
Lee Maracle
is a poet, author, activist, and professor.[11] His granddaughter Charlene Aleck is an actress who performed for 18 years on The Beachcombers
The Beachcombers
on CBC. His great-granddaughter Columpa Bobb is an actress and poet. Chief Dan George's grand-nephew, Chief Jesse "Nighthawk" George, currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia and is the Inter-Tribal Peace Chief for the State of Virginia. Cultural references[edit]

Dan George's B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame star on Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

He was included on the famous Golden Rule Poster under "Native Spirituality" with the quote: "We are as much alive as we keep the earth alive".[12] Canadian actor Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
narrated the following quote from his poem "My Heart Soars" in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[13]

The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass, speaks to me. And my heart soars.

Legacy[edit]

Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
Middle School in Abbotsford, British Columbia Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
Public School in Toronto, Ontario[14] Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Filmography[edit]

Smith!
Smith!
(1969) as Ol' Antoine Little Big Man (1970) as Old Lodge Skins Cancel My Reservation
Cancel My Reservation
(1972) as Old Bear À bon pied, bon oeil (1972) Alien Thunder
Alien Thunder
(1974) as Sounding Sky The Bears and I
The Bears and I
(1974) as Chief Peter A-Tas-Ka-Nay Harry and Tonto
Harry and Tonto
(1974) as Sam Two Feathers Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
Speaks (1974) as Himself Cold Journey (1975) The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales
(1976) as Lone Watie Shadow of the Hawk
Shadow of the Hawk
(1976) as Old Man Hawk Pump It Up (1978) Americathon
Americathon
(1979) as Sam Birdwater Spirit of the Wind
Spirit of the Wind
(1979) as Moses Nothing Personal (1980) as Oscar

Written works[edit]

George, Dan, and Helmut Hirnschall. My Heart Soars. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1974. ISBN 0-919654-15-0 George, Dan, and Helmut Hirnschall. My Spirit Soars. Surrey, B.C., Canada: Hancock House, 1982. ISBN 0-88839-154-4 Mortimer, Hilda, and Dan George. You Call Me Chief: Impressions of the Life of Chief Dan George. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1981. ISBN 0-385-04806-8 George, Dan, and Helmut Hirnschall. The Best of Chief Dan George. Surrey, B.C.: Hancock House, 2003. ISBN 0-88839-544-2

See also[edit]

Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Canada
portal Biography portal

Dark Cloud Chief Thundercloud Iron Eyes Cody History of Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh
Tsleil-Waututh
longshoremen, 1863-1963 Notable Aboriginal people of Canada Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast

References[edit]

^ Interactive Oceans - My Heart Soars ^ a b Christine Armstrong, Hidden in plain sight: contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, 2005: Univ. of Toronto
Toronto
Press, p. 14. ISBN 0-8020-8800-7. Accessed 2015-10-13. ^ a b Yoggy, Gary A (1998). Back in the saddle: essays on Western film and television actors. Jefferson, NC [u.a.] McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 0-7864-0566-X. Retrieved 2010-10-25.  ^ " First Nations
First Nations
- Land Rights and Environmentalism in British Columbia". Institute for the History of Science - University of Goettingen. 2005. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ "CBC News Indepth: Oscars". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ "Chief Dan George: Acclaimed actor, gentle soul". The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2010-10-25.  ^ a b " Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
- CBC Archives". Archives.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ "The Governor General of Canada". Gg.ca. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ "Stamp Quest Stamps : Canadians in Hollywood: The Sequel". Canadapost.ca. 2008-06-30. Archived from the original on 2011-11-18. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ Michael Bennett (30 September 1972). "Western Canada:Activity abounds on all fronts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 48–. ISSN 0006-2510.  ^ Lee Maracle, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Retrieved 14 April 2016 ^ Teasdale, Wayne (2004). Awakening the Spirit, Inspiring the Soul. SkyLight Paths Pub. p. xviii. ISBN 1-59473-039-3. Retrieved 2010-10-25.  ^ Fralic, Shelley (2010-02-12). "Opening ceremony: Canadians strut their stuff". Vancouversun.com. Retrieved 2010-10-26.  ^ " Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
Public School". Toronto
Toronto
District School Board. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 

External links[edit]

Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
on IMDb Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
on CBC TV's Telescope, 1971 Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
at Find a Grave

v t e

National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor

Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1967) Seymour Cassel
Seymour Cassel
(1968) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1969) Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
(1970) Bruce Dern
Bruce Dern
(1971) Eddie Albert
Eddie Albert
/ Joel Grey
Joel Grey
(1972) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1973) Holger Löwenadler
Holger Löwenadler
(1974) Henry Gibson
Henry Gibson
(1975) Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1976) Edward Fox (1977) Richard Farnsworth
Richard Farnsworth
/ Robert Morley
Robert Morley
(1978) Frederic Forrest
Frederic Forrest
(1979) Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
(1980) Robert Preston (1981) Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke
(1982) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1983) John Malkovich
John Malkovich
(1984) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1985) Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
(1986) Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
(1987) Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell
(1988) Beau Bridges
Beau Bridges
(1989) Bruce Davison
Bruce Davison
(1990) Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel
(1991) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1992) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(1993) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1994) Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle
(1995) Martin Donovan
Martin Donovan
/ Tony Shalhoub
Tony Shalhoub
(1996) Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds
(1997) Bill Murray
Bill Murray
(1998) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1999) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2000) Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi
(2001) Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
(2002) Peter Sarsgaard
Peter Sarsgaard
(2003) Thomas Haden Church
Thomas Haden Church
(2004) Ed Harris
Ed Harris
(2005) Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg
(2006) Casey Affleck
Casey Affleck
(2007) Eddie Marsan
Eddie Marsan
(2008) Paul Schneider / Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2009) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2010) Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
(2011) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2012) James Franco
James Franco
(2013) J. K. Simmons
J. K. Simmons
(2014) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2015) Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali
(2016) Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
(2017)

v t e

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1969) Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George
(1970) Ben Johnson (1971) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(1972) Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
(1973) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
(1974) Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
(1975) Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1976) Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell
(1977) Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
(1978) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1979) Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
(1980) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1981) John Lithgow
John Lithgow
(1982) Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
(1983) Ralph Richardson
Ralph Richardson
(1984) Klaus Maria Brandauer
Klaus Maria Brandauer
(1985) Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
(1986) Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
(1987) Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell
(1988) Alan Alda
Alan Alda
(1989) Bruce Davison
Bruce Davison
(1990) Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
(1991) Gene Hackman
Gene Hackman
(1992) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(1993) Martin Landau
Martin Landau
(1994) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1995) Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte
(1996) Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds
(1997) Bill Murray
Bill Murray
(1998) John Malkovich
John Malkovich
(1999) Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro
(2000) Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi
(2001) Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid
(2002) Eugene Levy
Eugene Levy
(2003) Clive Owen
Clive Owen
(2004) William Hurt
William Hurt
(2005) Jackie Earle Haley
Jackie Earle Haley
(2006) Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem
(2007) Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin
(2008) Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz
(2009) Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo
(2010) Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
(2011) Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey
(2012) Jared Leto
Jared Leto
(2013) J. K. Simmons
J. K. Simmons
(2014) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2015) Mahershala Ali
Mahershala Ali
(2016) Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 17360308 LCCN: n50030349 ISNI: 0000 0001 1103 7528 GND: 133283232 SUDOC: 035105364 BNF: cb13167358t (data) SN

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