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Senators' Statement - The Late Chief Leonard George

The Honourable Senator Larry W. Campbell :

Honourable senators, I rise today to pay tribute to a great Canadian, Chief Leonard George. On December 6, 2017, Leonard passed away at the age of 71. I’ve known Leonard since the late 1960s, when he was a young man and so was I; I was in the Mounties and he was at the Burrard Band. His father, Chief Dan George, was the leader of the Burrard Band at that time, which is out on the Indian Arm. It was at that point considered relatively inaccessible.

It was through the hard work and vision of Leonard that the Burrard Indian Band rightfully took back their heritage in the Tsleil-Waututh name. Tsleil-Waututh means “People of the Inlet,” referring to the Burrard Inlet and the Indian Arm located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

Leonard overcame many obstacles and difficulties throughout his life. He was always a visionary and intensely protective of the Tsleil-Waututh peoples. He was a smart negotiator who helped the nation through the treaty process and several successful business ventures. In my opinion, however, his biggest impact will be his efforts to preserve his First Nations culture and heritage.

Chief George led by example and always listened and took into consideration the thoughts and wishes of his people. Because of him, there are many young leaders within the Tsleil-Waututh Nation who will carry on his incredible legacy.

Leonard is survived by his wife of 47 years, Susan, and three children — Justin, Gabriel and Zachary.

You will be greatly missed, my friend.

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