CHIEF DAN GEORGE: ACTOR & ACTIVIST

USEFUL VOCABULARY

Activist – Someone who publicly campaigns to bring about political or social change.

Advocate – Someone who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

Artifact – An object made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest.

Canadian Confederation – Canadian Confederation was the process by which the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into the Dominion of Canada. (July 1, 1867)

Coast Salish – An Indigenous group of people who share ethnic and linguistic ties and who traditionally inhabit some of the Pacific Coast of British Columbia and the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon. The Indigenous people of Burrard Inlet are Coast Salish.

Culture – A pattern of behavior shared by a society or group of people. Many things make up a society’s culture. These include food, language, clothing, tools, music, arts, customs, beliefs, and religion.

First Nations – First Nations is a term used to describe Indigenous peoples in Canada who are not Métis or Inuit.

Indian Act – The principal statute through which the Government of Canada administers Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land and communal monies. It was first introduced in 1876 as a consolidation of previous colonial ordinances that aimed to eradicate First Nations culture in favour of assimilation into Euro-Canadian society. The Act has been amended several times, most significantly in 1951 and 1985, with changes mainly focusing on the removal of particularly discriminatory sections. The Indian Act pertains only to First Nations peoples, not to the Métis or Inuit.

Indigenous People – People who are descended from and identify with the original inhabitants of a given region.

Lament – A passionate expression of grief or sorrow.

Regalia – Ceremonial dress. Traditional and often sacred clothing, accessories and artifacts worn or carried during various ceremonies, such as powwows or celebrations.

Right – A moral or legal entitlement to have or get something or to act in a certain way.

Squamish Nation – The Squamish Nation is a government body of Indigenous people made up of descendants of the Coast Salish peoples. They lived in the present day Greater Vancouver area, Gibson’s Landing and the Squamish River watershed. Their language is also called Squamish.

Stereotype – A widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

Takaya – The Tsleil-Waututh word for ‘wolf.’ The crest of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a wolf or takaya.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation – The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a government body of Indigenous people made up of descendants of the Coast Salish peoples. They traditionally inhabited the lands around, and the waters of, Burrard Inlet. The Tsleil-Waututh are closely related to, but politically separate from, the Squamish and Musqueam First Nations. Their language is called Halkomelem.

Painting: Chief Dan George in pink shirt, by Lorraine Fenkner, Courtesy Carol Lord with photo by Tazim Damji, NVMA volunteer.