|Biography of Saul Terry|
"We're tired of just surviving. We want to live!"
Chief Saul Terry is a citizen of the Stl'atl'imx Nation (Lillooet Tribe) and a member of the Xwisten Community (Bridge River Band) near Lillooet, B.C. He was born in Lillooet on January 4, 1942.
Chief Terry's primary and junior secondary education was obtained at the Kamloops Residential School. He graduated from St. Ann's Academy, Kamloops, in 1962.
Chief Terry graduated with honours in sculpture from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr College of Art & Design) in 1968. At the invitation of Philip Paul, he went to Victoria in 1969-70 to become the first aboriginal art instructor hired by the Institute of Adult Studies (now Camosun College). At the time, Philip Paul was organizing the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and George Manuel was beginning his work organizing the National Indian Brotherhood (forerunner of the Assembly of First Nations). Saul spent many evenings discussing the emergent Indian rights movement with Philip and George. In late 1970, Saul moved back home to Lillooet to work in the field of education for his people.
Saul was elected Chief of the Bridge River band in 1973 and remained the elected chief until 1989. He was asked to run again for Chief and was elected in 1992, serving to the present. During his first tenure as Chief, Saul was active in the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, heading up UBCIC's fisheries portfolio. He was elected Vice President of the Union under George Manuel's presidency and was also elected Chairman of the Central Interior Tribal Councils (1978-1983)
Chief Terry was first elected President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs in 1983. Since then, he has been re-elected to six consecutive terms of office and is the Union's longest-serving chief executive. During his years in office, Saul has continued to sculpt when time permits but most of his energies have focused on developing tools for First Nations to carve out for themselves a new future of decolonization and self-determination.