At Presentation House to April 29, 2018

Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist

The title of this exhibit, “Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist”, refers to the life and legacy of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George (1899-1981), and his influence as an Indigenous rights advocate and his career as an actor.

The inspiration for this exhibit started with Chief Dan George’s Lament for Confederation speech which he delivered on July 1, 1967 at the City of Vancouver’s celebration of Canada’s Centennial at Empire Stadium. The speech begins: “How long have I known you, Oh Canada? … Yes, a hundred years. And many, many seelanum more. And today, when you celebrate your hundred years, Oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.” With those words Chief Dan George not only silenced the crowds … but for many he re-invigorated the First Nations rights movement in Canada.

In 2017, as we contemplate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, for many Indigenous people in Canada the feelings and questions posed by Chief Dan George’s Lament for Confederation still ring true.

Longshoreman, actor, musician, lecturer, poet, activist, environmentalist and First Nations leader; Chief Dan George (born Geswanouth Slahoot) is well remembered. Raised on Burrard Indian Reserve #3, the son of hereditary chief George Sla-holt, he spent much of his life working as a longshoreman and logger. His acting career began in his 60s (during the 1960s and 70s) when Chief Dan George appeared in many television, movie and stage productions. At that time, he worked to promote a better understanding of First Nations people and to challenge their portrayal on screen. Although focused on Chief Dan George, the exhibition  also delves into significant events and individuals in the First Nations rights movement in BC and Canada.

Chief Dan George’s granddaughter, Charlene Aleck,  was interviewed by CBC’s Rick Cluff, about her grandfather’s story. Hear her thoughts.

Supported by the Government of Canada.

Sponsored by CBC Vancouver.

À la Presentation House

Chef Dan George : acteur et militant

Ouverture le 22 juin 2017 jusqu’en avril 2018 (du jeudi au dimanche, de 12h à 17h, entrée gratuite.) Fermé les jours fériés.

Le titre de l’exposition, Chef Dan George : acteur et militant, invoque la vie et l’héritage du chef Dan George des Tseil-Waututh (1899-1981), ainsi que son influence comme défenseur des droits des Autochtones et sa carrière d’acteur.

L’inspiration pour cette exposition est venue du discours du chef Dan George intitulé Lamentation sur la Confédération prononcé le 1er juillet 1967 aux célébrations de la ville de Vancouver au stade Empire pour le centenaire du Canada. Le discours commence : « Je te connais depuis combien de temps, Ô Canada? Cent ans? Oui, cent ans. Et de très nombreux seelanum de plus. Et aujourd’hui, quand tu célèbres tes cent ans, Ô Canada, je suis triste pour tous les Indiens du pays. »  Avec ces mots, Dan George a non seulement fait taire la foule, … il a revigoré le mouvement des droits des Autochtones au Canada.

En 2017, comme nous contemplons le 150e anniversaire de la Confédération du Canada, les sentiments et les questions exprimés dans la Lamentation du chef Dan George continuent de sonner juste pour beaucoup d’Autochtones au Canada.

Débardeur, acteur, musicien, orateur, poète, militant, écologiste et chef des Premières Nations; Dan George (né Geswanouth Slahoot) est inscrit dans nos mémoires pour bien des raisons. Élevé dans la Réserve indienne Burrard nº 3, fils du chef héréditaire, George Sla-holt, il a travaillé une grande partie de sa vie comme débardeur et bûcheron. Il a commencé sa carrière d’acteur plus tard dans sa vie, dans les années 1960 et 70. Dan George est apparu dans de nombreuses productions télévisées, du cinéma et du spectacle dans lesquelles il a tenté de promouvoir une meilleure compréhension des Premières Nations et a remis en question leur représentation à l’écran. Bien que portée sur Dan George, l’exposition se penche aussi sur des événements importants du mouvement des droits autochtones de la Colombie-Britannique et du Canada.

L’exposition Chef Dan George : acteur et militant est soutenue par le gouvernement du Canada et parrainée par CBC Vancouver.

The North Vancouver Story

ex-permanIn one of the world’s most spectacular settings, human activity has shaped the environment and has been shaped by it. Learn the story of North Vancouver’s rise from an isolated logging town to today’s dynamic urban community. The permanent exhibition gallery encapsulates 150 years of history, from pre-contact times to the present, using artifacts and photographs in themed displays to tell the unique story of the community and its people.


At the Community History Centre

The Community History Centre gallery will be closed for renovations until February 2018.  At that time a new show will feature work by North Vancouver photographer John Barber Holdcroft (1884-1975).

Here is some biographical information.

John Barber Holdcroft was born in London, England. In 1894, at the age of ten, John and his family immigrated to Victoria, BC. During World War I (1914-1918) he served in the 6th field engineers in North Vancouver and rose to the rank of lieutenant, though for health reasons he did not go over seas.

From 1923 until retiring in 1955, Holdcroft worked for the Pacific Coast Pipe Company as chief engineer. In the course of his work, he travelled often across Canada, always with a camera slung over his shoulder. He took pictures of wood pipe and tank projects from B.C. to Newfoundland, as well as views and other places of interest. After retirement, he took great pleasure in shooting pictures of bridge and road construction sites in North Vancouver. A selection of his photos will be featured in our latest display, to be launched in February 2018.


Past Exhibits

Water’s Edge: Stories from the North Shore of Burrard Inlet

#2600409-v1-Bruce_Stewart_maplewood_mudflats_t-shirt_108x100RESTRICTED (3)Bruce Stewart: West of Eden

ex-frankLeonard Frank: Master Photographer

ex-mahonImagining North Vancouver: Edward Mahon and His Legacy

ex-baxterIAIN BAXTER&: Information/Location, North Vancouver

ex-madeMade in BC: Home-grown Design

ex-entwinedEntwined Histories: Gifts from the Maisie Hurley Collection
Txwnch7ám’new’as kwis eslhílhkw’iws

ex-squamishSkxwúmish Úxwumixw: The Squamish Community: Our People and Places

ex-leisterRita Leistner: Travels in First Nations

ex-tentLife Under Canvas: Tent Homes in Early North Vancouver