Thursday, April 7, 2016

Native American Biographies: Chief Dan George and Centennial Speech.

Chief Dan George is a native American, Salish form British Columbia, Canada.  He entered acting late in life, but had been entertaining as a musician for some time.  When George was 60 he had his first small parts in television.  However his big break in the entertainment field came with his part in "Little Big Man" for which he was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor.  I also loved him in "The Outlaw Josey Wales."  He also did stage acting.
George also became a popular speaker.  His BYU talk is classic.  He was active in countering negative depictions of Americans, and improving opportunities for native Americans in film.
Dan George also became a writer and poet.  Some of the things he wrote, "I am a chief, but my power to make war is gone, and the only weapon left to me is speech. It is only with tongue and speech that I can fight my people's war."  He did fight for his people with his words.  
His most famous poem is "And My Heart Soars"
The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
  speaks to me.
The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
  speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dew drop on the flower,
  speaks to me.
The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
  They speak to me.
And my heart soars. 

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