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Beach, Kunuk to receive honourary degrees

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Saulteaux actor Adam Beach and world-renowned Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk will be among those to receive honourary degrese at Wilfrid Laurier University’s spring convocation in June. Kunuk, born in Kapuivik in the eastern Arctic, joined the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in 1982 and directed several short films based on Inuit history. In 1990, he co-founded Isuma Productions, Canada’s first Indigenous film studio. Among Kunuk’s accomplishments is the 2001 film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, which he directed. It was the first feature film ever to be written, directed and acted in the Inuktitut language. It won more than a dozen major awards, including the Golden Camera Award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Beach spent his early years on the Dog Creek First Nation Reserve. He has appeared in more than 60 films and television programs. Beach founded the non-profit Adam Beach Foundation with a focus on Native youth suicide prevention and awareness. Also receiving honourary degrees are hockey great Wayne Gretzky and scientist, peace activist and outspoken social critic Ursula Franklin.