Adam Beach: Helping people recover from violence and addiction

Produced by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (

An Anishinaabe actor Adam Beach has starred in several hi-octane Hollywood movies, including Smoke Signals, Wind Talkers, and Flags of Our Fathers. He also appeared in Law and Order on TV.

Beach grew up on a reserve near Winnipeg, Manitoba. When he was eight, his mother, Sally Beach who was eight months pregnant with a girl, was killed by a drunk driver. She could have been saved, but the ambulance refused to come to the reserve.

Eight weeks after her death, his alcoholic father, Dennis Beach, drowned himself. Since he was drunk at the time, it is unclear whether he committed suicide or not.

Five years after their deaths, he went to live with his Uncle Chris and Aunt Agnes, and grew up on the northside of Winnipeg, as a gang member. As a young man he lead a violent and mean  life. 

During mid March 2010 he visited Shell Lake, Wisconsin to talk about recovery from violence, drugs, and alcohol.

He's planning on opening a film school for natives in Vancouver, British Columbia, later this year.

Thanks to the Spooner Advocate Janet Krokson, Frank Zufall, and Bill Thornely, for using their flip video to record this interview.

"There are no good or bad side of the tracks.  All children are born good."


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