Photo of Larry Guno taken during a trip to visit his family in Northern B.C. around 1997. Photo courtesy Sadie Parnell-O’Doneghey/Discourse Media

Larry Guno’s story inspires to this day

Nisga’a MLA leaves a legacy others need to follow

By Wawmeesh Hamilton

In the 1960s, Larry Guno, the late Nisga’a MLA for the former riding of Atlin, and his brother-in-law were travelling through northern B.C. by car. Tired from the long drive, they stopped at a hotel to get a room for the night, but were refused accommodation.

“The owner said he doesn’t serve First Nations people,” recalls Larry’s younger brother Don Guno, 64. “Indian people were discriminated against in a thousand different ways back then. You never felt like you belonged anywhere.”

This incident compelled Larry to sue the hotel owners.

“He saw injustices that were happening with Indigenous people all around him, and he wanted to help change that in some way,” Don tells me from his apartment in Vancouver.

“You never felt like you belonged anywhere. I think it took a lot of self-confidence to overcome that.”

For the rest of the feature click here. The full feature, written by Wawmeesh Hamilton, was originally published by discoursemedia.org.