LA RONGE -- He's been a World War II soldier, a New York detective, and a cowboy and he’s worked alongside A-list celebrities such as Nicolas Cage, Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood.
Renowned Native American actor Adam Beach is visiting La Ronge this week to speak with community members and students about his journey from northern Manitoba to Hollywood.
It’s easy to see his journey has been remarkable. Beach’s parents died when he was only eight. He had to deal with many of the same issues that affect northern aboriginal communities and break into an industry that isn’t always friendly to First Nations people.
“I’ve lived with the worst, I’ve lost the two most important people in my life that were supposed to teach me things like compassion,” said Beach during a conference at the La Ronge band office.
But he said overcoming those obstacles helped him be a stronger person. Now that he’s in a position to portray strong aboriginal roles, he’s hoping to teach people to see their common humanity.
“I tell people the world is hard to live in. On or off reservation; Indian or not Indian. I want people to see themselves as human beings and ask how do we work together, how do we unify to create a powerful nation. That’s the hard part” he said.
Beach’s itinerary includes shops, clinics and many schools. He said he plans to tell children his story so that they can be inspired to achieve their dreams, no matter how far-fetched the seem a the beginning.
“When I told my family I wanted to be a Hollywood actor, they all laughed at me,” he said.
“Now I’ve worked so hard (and am) a role model. Now people can look up to me and say ‘that’s who I want to be.’”
Currently, Beach owns his own production studio and said he hopes to use it to open up the industry to first nations people who want to pursue acting, producing, directing and writing.
Beach will be in the La Ronge area for the remainder of the week.
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