Famous Indian actor Adam Beach will give the keynote address at the Sixth Annual Red Lake Youth Leadership Conference at 9:30 a.m. on March 28. The conference–themed “Miikanaakeyang Giniigaanayi’iiminaan” (Making a Path for Our Future)–will be held March 27-29, 2012 at Red Lake High School in Red Lake, Minnesota.
The Canadian Saulteaux actor was raised on the Dog Creek First Nations Reserve in British Columbia with his two brothers. He lead a troubled childhood and witnessed his mother killed by a drunk driver. His alcoholic father drowned only weeks after. Adam and his brothers went to live with their grandmother and then with their uncle and aunt in Winnipeg. There, Adam joined drama classes and began acting in local theatre productions.
Since then he has appeared in more 60 TV and film roles. In his performance in the Academy Award-nominated and Clint Eastwood-directed Flags of Our Fathers (2006), he played Ira Hayes, a Pima Native American Marine, and one of the six to raise the American flag on Iwo Jima. Beach found the resulting fame hard to handle, subsequently giving way to alcoholism.
He headlined the cast in the Walt Disney production Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale (1994), featured in John Singleton’s Four Brothers (2005) and starred with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig in the science fiction-western smash hit Cowboys & Aliens (2011). He has also starred in the “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1999) and “Big Love” (2006).
Beach is expected to speak on overcoming drug and alcohol abuse at the youth leadership conference. The night prior to the conference, suicide survivor Arnold Thomas (Shoshone-Paiute) will give the “I Want to Live” suicide prevention speech.
Read more about Adam Beach in his Q&A with Indian Country Today Media Network: Actor Adam Beach on Stardom, Passion and the Award Closest to his Heart.