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Dr. Evan Adams has over 30 years' experience as a motivational speaker  Trust Evan to deliver insights & wisdom to your event

About Dr. Evan Adams


Evan Tlesla II Adams is a Coast Salish actor & physician from the Tla’amin First Nation near Powell River, BC, Canada. Evan stars as Thomas Builds-The-Fire in Miramax’s SMOKE SIGNALS, written by Sherman Alexie & directed by Chris Eyre. He also won Best Actor awards from the American Indian Film Festival, & from First Americans in the Arts, & a 1999 Independent Spirit Award for ‘Best Debut Performance’. He won a 2011 Gemini Award for co-hosting the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards along with Adam Beach. Aside from his career in the arts, Evan has completed a Medical Doctorate from the University of Calgary in 2002, & a residency in the Aboriginal Family Practice program at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Adams has a Masters of Public Health (2009) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. He was the first-ever Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor in the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health (2007-2012). He was the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for the province of BC from 2012 to 2014. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority.  

Many years' experience speaking at events, injecting energy, kindness & wisdom

Dr. Evan Adams is a motivational speaker who offers perspectives from Indigenous realities, academia, medicine & the performing arts.

Invited Presentations

Setting the Policy Table: Restricting Marketing of Sugary Foods & Drinks to Children, Heart & Stroke Foundation – June 27, 2017 

One Story of 2-eyed Seeing, Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education, Melbourne, Australia – April 5, 2017  

Indigenous Health & Risk Management, United Nations Regional Platform Panel Session on Indigenous Populations & Risk Reduction, Montreal, QC – March 7, 2017 

Youth & Drugs/Tobacco/Alcohol Use: Harm-Reduction Message, Gathering Our Voices Youth Conference, Kelowna, BC - March 21, 2017   

Traditional Medicine & Practice pre-forum presentation, BCSQC Quality Forum, Vancouver, BC - February 28, 2017 

Building a Strong Heart: Intergenerational Trauma & Achieving Strength & Resilience for Parents & Young Children, Early Learning Forum Keynote, Skidegate Health Centre Haida Gwaii - February 22, 2017 


Opioid Crisis – Harm-Reduction Approach, Strathcona /Downtown East Side Town Hall with VCH CMO Dr. Patricia Daly - January 19, 2017 

Towards a 10-Year Population Health & Wellness Agenda – co-presenter Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health – Gathering Wisdom VIII, Vancouver, BC – November 30, 2016 

Opening Keynote – American Indian Society of Science & Engineering (AISES) National Conference on Educational, Professional and Workforce Development, Minneapolis, MN – November 10, 2016 

One Eye Forward, One Eye Back: Transforming the Health Care System in BC – 17th Annual Carl Moore Lectureship, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON – September 28, 2016 

Nothing About Us Without Us: Implementing the TRC Calls to Action on Health, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Indigenous Wellness Conference, Vancouver, BC – August 23, 2016  

Indigenous Child Health in BC, International Associations of Pediatricians (IPA) Congress, Vancouver, BC – August 19, 2016  

One Eye Forward, One Eye Back – Healing Our Spirit Worldwide – The Seventh Gathering, Mauri Ora, New Zealand, November 16, 2015 


Improving the Health of Native People: A Public Health Approach – American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition, Boston, MA, November 6, 2013   


What's Your Story? (2017)

Follow Dr. Evan Adams as he discovers his family history with the British Columbia Archives. 

What's Your Story? 


Wellness, Two-eyed Seeing & System Change: Dr. Evan Adams at TEDx PowellRiver (2013)

Award-winning Canadian actor & medical doctor, Evan Adams is a member of the Tla'amin (Sliammon) First Nation from the Upper Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. He is an experienced motivational speaker.



Star of SMOKE SIGNALS (1998)

Evan Adams played Thomas Builds-The-Fire in the 1998 indie hit, SMOKE SIGNALS.


Here's a clip from SMOKE SIGNALS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBEhz8vw2AM

Evan Adams went on to earn a medical degree at the University of Calgary, & is now the Chief Medical Officer at the First Nations Health Authority.


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Dr. Evan Adams, Motivational Speaker