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Alfred Scow

Alfred Scow, a retired judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia, was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from a BC law school, the first Aboriginal lawyer called to the BC bar and the first Aboriginal legally-trained judge appointed to the BC Provincial Court. He was born in Alert Bay, BC, the eldest son of the late Chief William D. and Alice Scow.

Called to the bar in 1962, he practiced law in Vancouver and in 1965 was appointed City Prosecutor for the City of New Westminster. In 1967, he was appointed as a representative of Canada on a fact finding Commission in Guyana, South America, and later he was appointed Chair of a Board of Review for the BC Worker's Compensation Board. Judge Scow served on the BC Provincial Court from 1971 to 1992 and served as an Ad Hoc Judge from January 1993 to December 1994.

Alfred was active in community organizations including the Lions Club, the then Vancouver Indian Centre Society, the Legal Aid Society, Native Courtworkers and the John Howard Society. With others, Alfred Scow established the Indian Art Store, one of the earliest in Vancouver. More recently he founded the Scow Institute for Communicating Information on Aboriginal Issues, and in 2006 he co-authored the children's book Secret of the Dance.

Alfred has received numerous awards including the UBC Great Trekker Award, Aboriginal Achievement awards, a UBC Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, the Order of Canada and the Order of BC.

Secret of the Dance
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

"Many years ago, when the world and I were younger, my family defied the government."
A boy will never forget witnessing a forbidden Potlatch.
In 1935, a nine-year-old boy's family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl'kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork