Elder, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Elder, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Leonard George is the youngest son of the late Chief Dan and Amy George, and has four sisters and one brother. He has been married to his loving wife Susan for over forty years, and is proud to have four sons, three daughters-in-law and many grandchildren.
Leonard was born and raised in North Vancouver and is a proud member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (Slay-Wah-Tuth), Children of Takaya (children of the wolf clan) the Original People of the Burrard Inlet. He is a traditionalist, spiritual leader and economic development visionary. An actor by training, his screen credits include Man of the House, White Fang, Inbreaker, Mr. Cabe and Mrs. Miller, Little Big Man, Americathon, Shadow of the Hawk, Smith and Dan Candy’s Law, Kevin of the North, Stick Up and Skins. Leonard is a much sought after lecturer and consultant. He is a man of humor, his laughter tempered always by reality and the ironic bent of the Native American worldview. He lives fully in the quiet glare of history from which he derives such strength and wisdom to pursue his modern day ventures. Leonard says “In the past, all of our Nations of people, red, yellow, black and white were hunters of the land and waters. We all used the natural resources available to us, however today in our urban societies these resources are limited, and in order to survive we must maintain our cultures and become modern day hunters through education-degrees, diplomas, and technical trades are the tools that will allow us to grow into the future.”
Leonard served the Tsleil-Waututh Nation as Chief for twelve years and he is the economic lead. He is responsible for creation of Takaya Developments, which has constructed over 800 condominium units called Raven Woods in the community that serves the greater community throughout the North Shore. Raven Woods is considered one of the most successful residential developments within a First Nation community.
Achievements and Associations:
- Founding and Executive Member (1981-1988) of the Vancouver Aboriginal Centre
- Elected Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation from 1989-2001
- Director of the Economic Development Department for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
- Director of Takaya Developments
- President of Takaya Tours Inc.
- President of Healing Our Spirit,
- President of the First Nations Employment Centre
- Present / Leader of Children of Takaya
- Political Advisory committee member for Vice Chiefs, Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Social Development
- Governor General of Canada, Citizens Medal of Honor.
- Active member of the Aboriginal Health Association of British Columbia
- Simon Fraser University-Dean’s Council on First Nations education
- Founded the Chief Dan George Education Centre (in affiliation with S.F.U.)
- Capilano College-Board of Directors
- Board Member, Vancouver Airport Foundation: C.E.S.O. Member.
- Citizen Award-District of North Vancouver
- Aboriginal Film Association of Canada
- B.C. Native Film and Video Society
- Vancouver Board of Trade
- Friends of Canada
- Tsleil-Waututh Nation Platinum Eagle Feather Award for commitment and community leadership
- Yukon Int’l Story-telling Festival, annual presenter
- Jane Goodall Society spokesperson
“Our Mother the Earth is suffering. We have people with the vision and understanding who care. Their wish is to save wildlife and ecosystems, to stop the suffering of indigenous people. But we fail to realize that the first step in healing is within ourselves. We must face the worst in ourselves in order to be our best. We have to shed the tears of oppression and learn to love, honor, and respect ourselves. Once we have it within, then we have it to give away. Our children must inherit a better way.”
— L. George quoted from the book Architects of Peace
(foreword By Walter Kronkite)