Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Message From Chief Dan George on Canada Day 1967- Centennial


We were very blessed in July 1967- I was only 5 years old and today for the first time in my history I heard the POWERFUL, PROFOUND, ENLIGHTENING words of Chief Dan George.

Such a empowering speech he made, it makes me sad that I NEVER heard it until now.

A WARNING!! If people understood it correctly, that the "white people" had done terrible crimes against the First Nation, and there would be consequences. The consequences are we live in a very sick environment and it's getting worse because we have NO RESPECT for each other or most of all MOTHER EARTH.

A LESSON- please share this speech WIDELY and take heed.

A GIFT- CHIEF DAN GEORGE gifted everyone that heard that speech with an opportunity to change and perhaps many who did, tried. Sadly it has been a very long time since that speech and much of what he said was not passed on and shared.

An OPPORTUNITY- Let us take that opportunity and share this speech widely and wake up the people, those that sleep and let them know change is coming, whether it will be good or bad is up to them. We have to make changes if we are to survive on MOTHER EARTH.

As he says in the speech - take advantage of the education available and learn all the skills you need to rebuild this world into a beautiful healthy place where the salmon are healthy, the people are free and it is a Canada to be proud of .

Have a listen. Thanks to the PROVINCE NEWSPAPER for sharing this article. May it create great change.
What follows is the complete text:

Chief Dan George- Image from Wikipedia- Fair Use

Message From Chief Dan George on Canada Day 1967- Centennial

Lament for Confederation
How long have I known you, Oh Canada? A hundred years? 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.

For I have known you when your forests were mine; when they gave me my meat and my clothing. I have known you in your streams and rivers where your fish flashed and danced in the sun, where the waters said ‘come, come and eat of my abundance.’ I have known you in the freedom of the winds. And my spirit, like the winds, once roamed your good lands.

But in the long hundred years since the white man came, I have seen my freedom disappear like the salmon going mysteriously out to sea. The white man’s strange customs, which I could not understand, pressed down upon me until I could no longer breathe.

When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed his way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority.

My nation was ignored in your history textbooks - they were little more important in the history of Canada than the buffalo that ranged the plains. I was ridiculed in your plays and motion pictures, and when I drank your fire-water, I got drunk - very, very drunk. And I forgot.

Oh Canada, how can I celebrate with you this Centenary, this hundred years? Shall I thank you for the reserves that are left to me of my beautiful forests? For the canned fish of my rivers? For the loss of my pride and authority, even among my own people? For the lack of my will to fight back? No! I must forget what’s past and gone.

Oh God in heaven! Give me back the courage of the olden chiefs. Let me wrestle with my surroundings. Let me again, as in the days of old, dominate my environment. Let me humbly accept this new culture and through it rise up and go on.

Oh God! Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success-his education, his skills- and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society.

Before I follow the great chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass. I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land.

So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.

On Canada’s 100th birthday, Chief Dan George silenced a crowd of 32,000 with his 'Lament for Confederation' at Empire Stadium.

Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun file photo

 Chief Dan George- Wikipedia 

Chief Dan George, OC (July 24, 1899 – September 23, 1981) was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band whose Indian reserve is located on Burrard Inlet in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was also an author, poet and actor. His best-known written work was "My Heart Soars".

Little Big Man-Film-
The movie stars Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Jeff Corey and Richard Mulligan. It is considered a Western, with Native Americans receiving a more sympathetic treatment and the United States Cavalry depicted as villains.
Despite its satirical approach, the film has tragic elements and a clear social conscience about prejudice and injustice. Little Big Man is considered an example of anti-establishment films of the period, protesting America's involvement in the Vietnam War by portraying the U.S. military negatively.

In his December 15, 1970 review, Vincent Canby of The New York Times called the movie, "Arthur Penn's most extravagant and ambitious movie, an attempt to capture the essence of the American heritage in the funny, bitter, uproarious adventures of Jack Crabb."[11] Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, agreed, giving the film four stars out of four stars, and describing Little Big Man as "an endlessly entertaining attempt to spin an epic in the form of yarn.

Personally I found the ending extremely offensive but that in itself portrays the ignorance of the times.  But maybe I missed something, I have to watch the whole movie.

Chief Dan George was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He won many honors for his performance, including the Producers Guild of America Award, the National Society of Film Critics Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor.

Hoffman won third place for his performance with the Producers Guild of America and was nominated as Best Actor by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. The screenplay by Calder Willingham was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award as Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium.

The film won a Special Mention at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival in 1971.[13]
In 2014, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.[14]

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