Canadian actor Adam Beach agreed to be an ambassador for the federal government’s Canada 150 celebrations.
Beach — who overcame a troubled childhood on the Dog Creek reserve in Manitoba to star in Hollywood blockbusters such as Flags of Our Fathers — feels he should help pay tribute to a government that has funded some of his films, as well as his film school for Indigenous students in Winnipeg.
But he also feels that in celebrating Canada, the mistreatment of Indigenous people is often downplayed or ignored outright — something he could help change.
He is one of 150 people who have been selected to help promote 150 years of Canada.
Beach said he’s been fortunate to have a career that has been successful to the point where he can be picky about what roles he takes.
Having made his mark in the 1994 film Dance Me Outside and the 1990s CBC TV series North of 60, he later landed roles in major Hollywood films such as Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers and Cowboys and Aliens.
Beach was in Winnipeg recently and did a speech at Vision Quest, an annual conference aimed at promoting Indigenous economic development.
In Winnipeg, he runs Adam Beach Film Institute which aims at training Indigenous students in all aspects of filmmaking, both in front of and behind the camera.