March 09, 2011

Beach hosts Aboriginal Achievement Awards

Adam Beach hosts Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Edmonton

Plays Harrison Ford’s right-hand man in Cowboys and Aliens

By Jamie Hall
On Friday, Beach will resurrect one of his favourite roles during the awards ceremony at the Jubilee Auditorium when he and his co-host—and former co-star—Evan Adams rekindle the magic of their 1998 movie, Smoke Signals, about two young American Indians who leave the reservation to resolve their problems, and to find themselves.

“They wanted us to reprise our characters in the movie, which is probably the film everyone loves most in Indian country,” says Beach. He was happy to oblige. The movie, which was told from a native perspective, received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Filmmaker’s Trophy at that year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Beach says it’s that “native perspective” that is largely absent from meaningful political and social discourse, which makes the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards so critical. “The awards are so important because our people need role models, they need heroes, and they don’t realize there are heroes right in their own backyard.”
And:He has lived in Los Angeles for the past two years, but still makes frequent trips to Canada to visit family, and to work with aboriginal youth. Recently, he took part in a conference on social justice in Winnipeg, speaking to teenagers from dozens of high schools in the area about “creating a new outlook on life.”

Says Beach: “For 150 years, people have been telling us not to be Indians, and for the next 150 years we are going to teach them how to be Indians.”

On Friday, 14 recipients will be honoured, including Fred Sasakamoose, the first aboriginal to play in the NHL, 2010’s Miss Indian World Teyotsihstokwáthe Dakota Brant, and Corrine Hunt, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic gold medal designer. The show will be broadcast nationally April 9 on Global TV and APTN.

Performers include Cree-Canadian country singer-songwriter Shane Yellowbird, who won Rising Star of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2007, Juno Award-winning Digging Roots and Canadian rock singer Lucie Idlout. There will also be an excerpt from the award-winning contemporary dance piece Tono by Red Sky Performing Arts.

Says Beach: “I love the idea of being a part of a national show that rewards true leadership and shows aboriginal people who are excelling in their own passion.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see 2010 Aboriginal Achievement Awards and 2009 Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it weird that I thought a beach was?

You've got to admit: The fact that he made it at all in Hollywood shows talent. It's bad enough if you're white (and can therefore play any ethnicity you wish to), but they almost never hire Indians.