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Profile: Dr. Evan Tlesla Adams

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.

Medical Doctor:


Dr. Evan Tlesla Adams is British Columbia's first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor.

He's a Coast Salish from Sliammon First Nation in British Columbia near Powell River.

Many people know him as "Thomas Build-the-Fire" from the 1998 movie Smoke Signals.

He still works as a performer, but most of his time these days is spent monitoring the health of the more than two hundred thousand Aboriginal people in the province.

Life expectancy for Aboriginal men in B.C. is six years less than that of the average non-Aboriginal. That's particularly evident in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, which has the largest concentration of homeless Aboriginal people in Canada.

Infant mortality rates among Aboriginals are also high.

Although Adams advocates greater access to family doctors and specialists, he also strongly advocates a holistic response to better health.

"People's well-being is actually directly tied to their opportunity, their ability to determine their future, their sense of equality, fairness, their access to beauty, family, love, a place to live" he says.

Watch in interview with Dr. Evan Adams.


Dr. Evan Adams, Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor