Chief Dan George was born with the names Geswanouth Slahoot (which was
anglicized as Dan Slaholt) to a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve
No. 3 in North Vancouver. His last name was changed to George when he
entered a mission boarding school at the age of 5, where the use of his
native language was discouraged, if not forbidden.
much of his early life as a longshoreman, a construction worker, and a
school bus driver, Chief Dan George auditioned for the role of Ol'
Antoine on "Cariboo Country"
(1960), a CBC television series, and was offered the part. On the
strength of his performance in the series, and after playing the same
part in Smith! (1969)
a Disney adaptation of one the show's episodes, based on "Breaking
Smith's Quarterhorse" a novella by _Paul St. Pierre_ and starring Glenn
Ford, he was asked to play Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man
(1970); this role led to a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in
1970. He continued to appear in a variety of films, and also became an
accomplished stage actor.
He became an influential speaker on the
rights of the native peoples of North America. He died in 1981 on the
same Indian Reserve where he was born.