Canadian Headline News – Leonard George, Tsleil-Waututh elder, actor and community leader, dies – British Columbia

Canadian news headlines

Leonard George, a beloved leader of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, has died.

Born in North Vancouver, George was the son of the late Chief Dan George and his wife Amy.

Like his father, George was an accomplished actor and shone on screen in classics such as as Smoke Signals and Call of the Wild.

As an elder and leader of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, he was known for his wisdom, wit and work to protect First Nation’s land, water, resources and culture.

In 2013, he was honoured with Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work as an economic development visionary and as a spiritual leader.

George was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2005 and had to re-learn how to speak, eat and even sing.

Outpouring of condolences

This morning, Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted she was “very saddened to hear of the passing of Leonard George. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends, family and Nation.”

B.C. Regional Chief Terry Teegee expressed his heartfelt sympathies and condolences to George’s family, describing him in a statement as a significant leader.

“I’ve known Chief Leonard George since I was young; he was a close friend to me and my family, and was always an inspiration for me. We are so grateful to have had such a strong community leader and advocate within our circles for all these years,” Teegee wrote.

With files from Farrah Merali

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