Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) knowledge keeper, Les George, will share the past history of Tsleil-Waututh, including stories about the land, village sites, and some songs. The present stories will include teachings of becoming a TWN knowledge keeper, ceremony today, and cultural sharing. Stories about TWN’s future will include stories about what has changed the lands, the food, the culture, and the language.
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Tsleil-Waututh Nation – People of the Inlet
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Les George is a member of the s?lilw?ta? (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation, where he lives on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. He is the grandson of the late s?lilw?ta? Chief Dan George and is connected through family to the Sk?wx?wu?7mesh (Squamish) and x?m?θk??y??m (Musqueam) nations. Les attended the Native Education College in Vancouver. In 2017, he was invited to return, giving a performance and prayer at the opening of their cultural gathering space.
For 23 years, Les George was a First Nations Support Worker with the North Vancouver School District, working closely with at-risk youth and those with special needs. He shared stories, drumming, songs, and held restorative justice circles with students. Les also works for Takaya Tours, the premier First Nation owned eco-tourism venture in the Lower Mainland. As a guide, he keeps groups safe as they paddle Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm in replica ocean-going canoes or sea kayaks, all while sharing s?lilw?ta? songs, legends, and information about village sites.