Windspeaker: What one quality do you most value in a friend?
Dr. Evan Adams: Self-awareness! Do they know both their strengths and their weaknesses? Do they know what is sacred and funny about themselves? Self-awareness is central to dignity, commitment, morality, listening, and empathy.
W: What is it that really makes you mad?
W: When are you at your happiest?
E.A.: It depends if I’m alone or not. If I’m alone: Being at the movies. If it’s a social occasion: Hanging with Aboriginal people! Aboriginal people are usually soooo funny and smart and I know I’m going to laugh and laugh!
W: What one word best describes you when you are at your worst?
W: What one person do you most admire and why?
E.A.: David Suzuki. He’s a legend!
W: What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do?
E.A.: Pass my medical school exams. Crazy, eh, that a man-made thing would be harder than death or poverty or physical pain? I think it says a lot about the culture of medicine and that sometimes what we want is incredibly hard to achieve.
W: What is your greatest accomplishment?
E.A.: Smoke Signals was a kind of accomplishment, though I didn’t know it at the time. I was just trying to get it right. It wasn’t until much later that I realized a lot of things came together to make the final product special – and not reproducible.
W: What one goal remains out of reach?
E.A.: Well, I guess I’m never going to be the first (biological) man to ever get pregnant. I know this is weird, but I used to dream that I was pregnant. I would dream I was bathing in a river, and look down at my swollen, pregnant belly and be happy…
W: If you couldn’t do what you’re doing today, what would you be doing?
E.A.: If I wasn’t an actor or a doctor? I’d probably be in tourism! I know! I love to travel and visit other cultures. I studied French and Spanish for years with dreams of seeing the Americas… I still love anything Maori or Hawaiian or Polynesian.
W: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
E.A.: “You’re going to be 40 one day anyway; might as well have a degree when you get there!”
W: Did you take it?
E.A.: Yup. In fact, I have a couple (a medical doctorate and a Masters of Public Health). But the arts are where I love to be. We should all have a very good general education and the opportunity to master a number of areas!
W: How do you hope to be remembered?
E.A.: That I did my best for decades… I don’t want to be remembered for the things I screwed up!
Dr. Evan Adams is known as a Canadian actor, playwright, and most recently co-host of this year’s National Aboriginal Achievement Awards broadcast. Adams began life on Nov. 15, 1966. He is Coast Salish from the Sliammon First Nation near Powell River in British Columbia. Awards such as the 1999 Best Debut performance in Smoke Signals and a Los Angeles Outfest award in 2002 for Fancydancing are just a couple of his accomplishments. He also appeared in a documentary called Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the 70’s Generation that spoke to his own experiences as a young gay First Nations man during the Trudeau era in Canada. More recently Adams was appointed the first Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor for the province of B.C and currently is the Director of the Division of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health, UBC Department of Family Practice and past-President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada.