Published on June 24, 2012 by Amy
Evan Tlesla Àdams (born November 15, 1966) is a Canadian actor, playwright and medical doctor. A Coast Salish from the Sliammon First Nation near Powell River, British Columbia, he is best known internationally for his roles in the films of Sherman Alexie, as Thomas Builds-the-Fire in the 1998 film Smoke Signals and Seymour Polatkin in the 2002 film The Business of Fancydancing.
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He won an Independent Spirit Award in 1999 for Best Debut Performance for his role in Smoke Signals, and a Los Angeles Outfest award in 2002 for his role in Fancydancing.
In Canada, Adams has acted primarily in television, including roles in The Beachcombers, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Neon Rider, These Arms of Mine, Da Vinci’s City Hall, The L Word, and Wolf Canyon, and stage roles in Lear and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. He also appeared in the documentary film Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the 70′s Generation, speaking about his own experience as a young gay First Nations man growing up in Canada during the Trudeau era.
His plays, including Dreams of Sheep, Snapshots, Dirty Dog River and Janice’s Christmas, have been produced across Canada and internationally.
Adams has also worked extensively with First Nations health programs in Canada, including HIV/AIDS education and alcohol and drug abuse treatment. In 2002, Adams completed a medical degree at the University of Calgary. He now practices family medicine in Vancouver, and serves as director of the Aboriginal Health program in the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine.
In April 2007, Adams was appointed the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor for the province of British Columbia.