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Evan Adams

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Evan Adams
Evan Tlesla Adams

(1966-11-15) November 15, 1966 (age 57)
Alma materUniversity of Calgary
Occupation(s)Actor, playwright, Doctor
Years active1986–present

Evan Tlesla Adams (born November 15, 1966) is an Indigenous Canadian actor, playwright, and physician. 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.





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 Fancy dancing.

In Canada, Adams has acted primarily in television, including roles in The Beachcombers, "Lost in the Barrens" 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 appeared in the 1990 made-for-TV movie "Lost in the Barrens". He also appeared in the documentary film Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the '70s Generation, speaking about his own experience as a young gay,[1][2] First Nations man growing up in Canada during the Pierre Trudeau era.

His plays, including Dreams of Sheep, Snapshots, Dirty Dog River and Janice's Christmas, have been produced across Canada and internationally.

He appears in the 2017 films Indian Horse and Kayak to Klemtu, and the 2020 film Indian Road Trip.

In 2023 he made a guest appearance as Larry, the Indian Health Service psychologist, on the series Reservation Dogs.[3] He also played adult Tim Wallach in the TV miniseries Bones of Crows. [4]



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 completed his residency at St. Paul's Hospital/UBC (as Chief Resident), a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and served as the Deputy Provincial Health Officer with the British Columbia Ministry of health. In April 2007, Adams was appointed the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor for the province of British Columbia.[5] In April 2012, Adams was made Deputy Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia by Dr. Perry Kendall.[6] On December 1, 2014, Adams became the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ "Smoke Signals Gay Actor Lands New Career-Defining Role". advocate.com. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Out". Here Publishing. 1 December 2002. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  3. ^ Simmons, Kali (Sep 6, 2023). "Reservation Dogs Recap: Hoka, Bae!". Vulture. Retrieved Sep 6, 2023.
  4. ^ "Bones of Crows". 12 Oct 2023. Retrieved 12 Oct 2023.
  5. ^ BC Government Ministry of Health. "Dr. Evan Adams, Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor". Retrieved 2011-06-24.
  6. ^ BC Government Ministry of Health. "Dr. Evan Adams named Deputy PHO for Aboriginal health". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  7. ^ Trevor Kehoe (30 October 2014). "FNHA Announces Dr. Evan Adams as New Chief Medical Officer".
  8. ^ "Dr. Evan Adams Named Chief Medical Officer of First Nations Health Authority". Native News Online. 17 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  9. ^ Anderson-Minshall, Diane (23 November 2014). "Smoke Signals' Gay Actor Turned Doctor Lands New Career-Defining Role". Advocate.com.