(Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh territories, Vancouver, BC – November 5th 2019) - It is with great sadness and grief that BCAFN has learned of the passing of Elder George Saddleman (XweeTa?). We extend our condolences to George’s family, friends, loved ones and community in the Okanagan, where George served as a Chief and as a Councillor for Upper Nicola Indian Band for over three decades. George is remembered as a man with a “heart of gold,” who was often the warmest and most welcoming in a room.
George was a valuable contributor to the mandates of both Upper Nicola Indian Band and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, where he began a journey of political advocacy for over 40 years ago. George believed in Indigenous rights as human rights and the right to self-government, working relentlessly towards both of these aspirations. He was tireless in his advocacy against Elder Abuse, exploitation and neglect. At the end of his journey, George served as an Elder Representative for UBCIC; the First Nations Leadership Council will feel this loss greatly. We have huge appreciation for George’s work in his community for his continued efforts to uphold cultural integrity and improve quality of life for Indigenous peoples in this province.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee remarked on George’s passing, “we are forever indebted to Elder George Saddleman’s work towards the advancement of Title and Rights in British Columbia. His advocacy for Indigenous rights will live on in the work the First Nations Leadership Council and continues to inspire both myself and my counterparts from UBCIC and FNS. I am thankful for George’s work both in his community and with UBCIC as an Elder Representative and would like to offer my sincerest condolences to all those who knew and loved him.”
For further information, contact:
Annette Schroeter. Phone: (778) 281-1655. BC Assembly of First Nations, Communications Officer
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