Update (August 2): The Abbotsford Police Department announced that the statue has been recovered, but the investigation into the theft remains ongoing.
A search is under way for a statue of a famous local Indigenous chief that has gone missing from a school in Abbotsford.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) explained in a news release issued today (August 1) that in June, staff at Chief Dan George Middle School attempted to locate a stone sculpture of Chief Dan George to put it on display in the school’s main display case. It had been put in a secure storage space during renovations at the school.
Chief Dan George, who lived from 1899 to 1981, was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, which has a reserve in the District of North Vancouver.
On July 4, the Abbotsford School District contacted police to report the theft of the sculpture.
The sculpture, which is valued at $8,000, was created by artist Gerald Sandau and was donated to the school in 2017. It weighs about 32 kilograms (70 pounds) and is 61 centimetres (two feet) tall and 30 centimetres (one foot) wide.
Anyone with information is asked to call the APD at 604-859-5225 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Chief Dan George was also a musician, writer, and actor who starred in films such as Harry and Tonto and Little Big Man.