Temporary Exhibits

Past Exhibits

October 5 – December 15, 2023

Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist

Chief Dan George, Abundant Rivers (1971) Museum of Anthropology a038355

The Cowichan Valley Museum is excited to present Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist, a traveling exhibit created by the Museum and Archives of North Vancouver. This fascinating exhibit explores the life and legacy of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George (1899-1981) – leader, writer, performer, and advocate for First Nations people. Learn about his influence as an advocate for the rights of First Nations peoples.


Ole Antoine,’ Dan George, Burrard Reserve, North Vancouver holding a drum painted by Minn Sjoselth (1968) Museum of Anthropology a038335

Longshoreman, actor, musician, lecturer, poet, activist, environmentalist and First Nations Leader, Dan George (born Geswanouth Slahoot) is well remembered. Raised on the Burrard Indian Reserve #3, the son of hereditary chief George Sla-holt, he spent much of his life working as a longshoreman and logger. He began his acting career later in life during the 1960s and 1970s. Dan George appeared in many television, movie and stage productions in which he worked to promote a better understanding of First Nations people. Although focused on Dan George, the exhibition also delves into significant events in the First Nations rights movement in BC and Canada.

There are educational programs to accompany this exhibit – learn more.

July 1 – September 15, 2023

Broken Promises

Can you imagine someone taking your home, all of your possessions, and your freedom? In 1942, the Canadian government uprooted 21,460 Japanese Canadians from British Columbia’s coast. They boarded trains, bringing only what they could carry. Officials promised to protect the belongings they left behind. Instead, Japanese Canadians were dispossessed: everything was stolen or sold. Together, researchers and community members have sought to understand this history. Broken Promises explores the dispossession and internment of Japanese Canadians in this traveling exhibit from the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre.


This thought-provoking look at a moment in Canada’s past illuminates the loss of home and the struggle for justice of one racially marginalized community. The story follows seven Japanese Canadians, one of them from Salt Spring Island. Learn about life for Japanese Canadians in Canada before war, the administration of their lives during and after the war’s end, and how legacies of dispossession continue to this day. The Cowichan Valley was home to many Japanese Canadians and their stories add local history to this powerful exhibit. You don’t want to miss this one!

Return to home page