May 19, 2010

Beach warns Ho-Chunk youth

Actor Adam Beach warns Native youth of alcohol, drugs

By Matthew PerenchioThe Golden Globe nominee—most recently known for his role as detective Chester Lake on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”—spent Friday talking to Ho-Chunks in Nekoosa, Black River Falls and Tomah. He warned of the dangers of alcohol and drugs, and he also dispelled the glorified life of being a gang member.

“It’s our choice that defines who we are,” Beach said. “We all have a choice.”

The 37-year-old Saulteaux has been publicly speaking against drugs and alcohol—both that have had negative effects on Native American populations—since he was 16.

And he speaks from experience. After losing both parents in separate car accidents when he was 8—his mother to a drunk driver—he was involved in gangs at 14 and had friends who used and sold drugs.
Beach's latest projects:Beach has had a successful acting career in movies and television and is starting a film school, and he hopes youth see that anything is possible.And:Beach expects to return to the area in the future to film a new movie entitled “Blackdeer.” The movie tells the story of Louella Blackdeer, a Ho-Chunk marathon runner who was killed with three friends by a drunk driver in 2000.Comment:  For more on the subject, see Beach to Play Native War Hero and All About Adam Beach.

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