Plays Harrison Ford’s right-hand man in Cowboys and Aliens
By Jamie Hall
“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.”
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.”