People / Chief Saul Terry

Artist, activist, native Chief. Chief Saul Terry was born in Lillooet on January 4, 1942. After graduating from St. Ann’s Academy (Kamloops) in 1962, Terry attended the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design), graduating with honors in sculpture in 1968. The following year, he relocated to Victoria to work as an art instructor at the Institute for Adult Studies (now Camosun College), the first aboriginal person to hold the position. Concurrently, Philip Paul began organizing the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and George Manuel began organizing the National Indian Brotherhood (precursor to the Assembly of First Nations). The three men spent many nights discussing the emerging First Nations Rights Movement. Terry moved back to Lillooet in 1970 to be an educator for his people. Three years later, Terry was elected Chief of the Bridge River Band (Stl’atl’imx Nation, Lillooet Tribe), Xwisten Community, a position he would hold for sixteen years. In 1992, Terry was asked to run again. He won the election and he holds the position too this day. He was elected President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs in 1993. Since then, he has been re-elected to six consecutive terms of office, making him the Union’s longest serving chief executive. He continues to sculpt when time allows.