His final journey: Elder Ernest George

Sunrise February 5, 1940—Sunset November 11, 2020

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Tag(s): Current Students, Indigenous Students, Media

Portrait of Hereditary Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Elder Ernie George taken in 2018. Photo by Taehoon Kim, Capilano University

Love and respect each other…understand each other. Once you learn the other person, you know which direction you’re going to be going. And which direction they will be going. — Slá’hólt, Elder Ernest (Ernie) George, 2018


With a heavy heart I share with you that Slá’hólt, Hereditary Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Elder Ernest (Ernie) George, made his way to Xexe7énak (the Creator) on November 11, 2020.

Elder Ernie lived all his life on the Tsleil-Waututh inlet. At the age of 69, he became one of Capilano University’s first elders-in-residence. For the past 11 years, we have been privileged beyond knowing to have Elder Ernie’s wisdom, humour and kindness reflected in the spirit of the CapU community and the “warm feeling”, as he called it, of the Kéxwusm-áyakn centre—the gathering place he was integral in helping to develop on our main campus.

His gentle voice served on many CapU committees and helped us to understand the past, care for the present and consider the future in our decisions and our actions.  A residential school survivor, Elder Ernie shared the truth of his experiences, opening hearts and minds to painful realities and the importance of reconciliation.

In 2018, Elder Ernie expressed his love of home, family and the ancient nation of the Tsleil-Waututh people through The Inlet. A father, grandfather and great grandfather, he considered CapU students as his grandchildren, and loved to answer their questions with stories from his own life and the Elders who came before him.   

In the weeks and months ahead, we will reflect further upon the meaning of our time with Elder Ernie and how we will sustain not only his memory, but his connection to Capilano University. There is much more to share and to learn from Elder Ernest George, for now our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to his family and the Tsleil-Waututh people.


Paul Dagerfield,

Submitted by: Linda Munro, Communications